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Thread: tranny input shaft

  1. #1
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    tranny input shaft

    My 04 1150rt with 57k has had the clutch rattle since I bought it at 51K. So I pulled it all to take a looksee and hoped I could get by with a lube job- however, the input splines are pretty worn and I'm not comfortable putting in a new clutch and re installing it. Apparently there is a redesigned input shaft available at about $1k that utilizes the full clutch collar, or a redesigned clutch that has a longer collar at $600 that fully engages the input shaft. Either way I'm going to need both the shaft and clutch pak. Anyone been in a similar predicament and have advice?

    I have experience with dry clutches on auto's, and have never seen a design that did not fully engage the clutch on the splines. Blows my mind that BMW would put something like this on the road and not have remedied it with better designed replacement parts, much less even admit it was a problem. I love this bike... and if I put it back together stock I know I'd be looking at the same thing down the road- hopefully not on the side of the road. I thought I'd got lucky when I found a local dismantler that had a gearbox with 38K on it, but it only looks marginally better. He told me that if it was as good as he has seen after taking many of these bikes apart, and that if I wanted any better I would have to get a new shaft. I suspect it would have gone another 30 or 40k, but then I'd be in the same boat- or on side of the road.

    Any experience with the "improved" parts?

  2. #2
    Registered User awagnon's Avatar
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    It is my understanding only one or two of the "improved" tranny input shafts were produced in Canada. Only one was installed and to my knowledge, there hasn't been a report on the longevity of the shaft. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. The $900 price was too steep for most and availability was an issue. The splines went out of my 1150RT at 42,000 miles, which is a little longer than most. I would have paid $900 for the shaft if it had been available. I'm currently watching the splines on my "04 1150GS. There was significant wear two years ago and I'll be taking another look in a couple of weeks. It was a very poor design.
    Al - Ogden, Utah
    Boxer bikes, boxer dogs, and letterboxing.
    2012 1200RT
    2006 Boxer dog (Paisley)

  3. #3
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    Al, splines dying around 40K miles is indicative of a trans/motor misalignment. If left unfixed, that misalignment will continue to cause shafts and clutches to eat each other every 40K or less, forever. Some suffer from that, others suffer from poor/missing/dry lube which causes excessive wear. Those usually die somewhere north of 60K. Preemptive lubing every 40K will prevent the latter situation.

    My understanding on the Canadian shafts is the same as yours. The maker claims big miles on the one he installed for himself, but no to few others were ever made, to the best of my knowledge.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagnon View Post
    It is my understanding only one or two of the "improved" tranny input shafts were produced in Canada. Only one was installed and to my knowledge, there hasn't been a report on the longevity of the shaft. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. The $900 price was too steep for most and availability was an issue. The splines went out of my 1150RT at 42,000 miles, which is a little longer than most. I would have paid $900 for the shaft if it had been available. I'm currently watching the splines on my "04 1150GS. There was significant wear two years ago and I'll be taking another look in a couple of weeks. It was a very poor design.
    You are correct.
    As far as availability goes.....
    I could not get a group of 10 to commit to a batch run.
    I am still testing and am at about 65,000 miles.
    So far there is no radial slop in the plate and all looks good.
    Gotta ride more.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  5. #5
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    Al, splines dying around 40K miles is indicative of a trans/motor misalignment. If left unfixed, that misalignment will continue to cause shafts and clutches to eat each other every 40K or less, forever. Some suffer from that, others suffer from poor/missing/dry lube which causes excessive wear. Those usually die somewhere north of 60K. Preemptive lubing every 40K will prevent the latter situation.

    My understanding on the Canadian shafts is the same as yours. The maker claims big miles on the one he installed for himself, but no to few others were ever made, to the best of my knowledge.
    In actuality they are quite different from a metallurgy and tolerance perspective. Not to mention being 6mm longer.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  6. #6
    JohnWC
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    Incredible. A beautiful motorcycle with a nearly fatal flaw (fatal from the cost of labor and parts to repair it, not to the rider).
    Anyone ever heard BMW's excuse for this monumentally poor design/assembly decision? I wonder if anyone in Berlin ever lost their job over that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    Incredible. A beautiful motorcycle with a nearly fatal flaw (fatal from the cost of labor and parts to repair it, not to the rider).
    Anyone ever heard BMW's excuse for this monumentally poor design/assembly decision? I wonder if anyone in Berlin ever lost their job over that one.
    It is not the Teutonic nature to admit wrong.......it goes along way back

  8. #8
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    I wonder if anyone in Berlin ever lost their job over that one.
    I'd say no.
    However, had anyone from BMW gone on record accepting responsibility it may have been different.

    It's simply the world we live in.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  9. #9
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    The splines not making full contact in oilheads seems to me an obvious mistake and I can't view it any other way. There is room for full engagement, every other design like this makes full engagement even other BMW models so what other plausible conclusion can be made other than someone made a boo boo. I think GSAddict has made and installed the ideal solution and while some say it's too expensive at $900, a $600 extended clutch hub is not that much cheaper. I think the spline fix would be stronger. At 65K he's already well beyond the typical failure mileage of many of the catastrophes we've read about here.

    Chris Harris from Affordable Beemer Shop alludes to three fixes for the typical oilhead spline failures and has done a video on his theories here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx3e0gqzylY

    Chris curses a lot and has a gruff (is that a word?) way about him but he is an experienced repair guy and a lot of stuff in his videos is useful. One of the 3 solutions he proposes is a clutch disc that has an extended hub that makes full contact with the input shaft. Some would argue this is easier than replacing input shafts. I have to agree. A picture of one of these extended hub clutches was posted here recently?? and they are made by Bruno's. Not found on Bruno's website but that is where they come from.
    Contact Details:
    Bruno's Machine & Repair
    HWY 554 # 47
    RR1 Iron Bridge, Ontario
    P0R1H0 Canada
    phone / fax 705 843 0822
    E-mail: brunos@brunos.us
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  10. #10
    Registered User awagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    Al, splines dying around 40K miles is indicative of a trans/motor misalignment. If left unfixed, that misalignment will continue to cause shafts and clutches to eat each other every 40K or less, forever.
    I agree, Bikerfish, but I didn't have the gigs, tools, or gauges to check for axil misalignment. So I did the next best thing and replaced everything else ( Clutch housing, input shaft, input shaft bearing, all clutch parts ) in the hope that the problem was with flywheel runout. I sold the bike (a 2002 1150RT) 30,000 miles later and everything was still doing well. I warned the buyer, who is an engineer, that the splines might crap out again in 10,000 miles. He was willing to take the chance for the great price. Still all is well. My 2004 1150GS is the one I'm just watching. I wouldn't be surprised if I don't end up replacing the input shaft this winter.
    Al - Ogden, Utah
    Boxer bikes, boxer dogs, and letterboxing.
    2012 1200RT
    2006 Boxer dog (Paisley)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moralem View Post
    It is not the Teutonic nature to admit wrong.......it goes along way back
    I has been my observation that it goes farther than this. It is also the Teutonic nature to do it wrong again if doing it right could be misconstrued as admitting the first design was not absolutely perfect and that includes ignoring any and all facts to the contrary.

    Rod

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    Incredible. A beautiful motorcycle with a nearly fatal flaw (fatal from the cost of labor and parts to repair it, not to the rider).
    Anyone ever heard BMW's excuse for this monumentally poor design/assembly decision? I wonder if anyone in Berlin ever lost their job over that one.
    Problem? Zere ist no problem.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  13. #13
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
    I has been my observation that it goes farther than this. It is also the Teutonic nature to do it wrong again if doing it right could be misconstrued as admitting the first design was not absolutely perfect and that includes ignoring any and all facts to the contrary.

    Rod
    And THAT is exactly why they lost the big one.
    Jammess

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammess View Post
    And THAT is exactly why they lost the big one.

    Big One I and Big One II

  15. #15
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Back to splines, short shafts, small hubs, and failure!! Yes the design sucks! But they don't all fail, and certainly not all at an early age. My R1150R is at 170,000 miles on the originals as out of the factory. True, when last looked at and cleaned and lubed at 160,000 miles or so they were not as pristine as I wanted to see but still worth putting the bike back together without new parts.
    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

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