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FWC FWC is offline
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Spline Inspection and Replacement Items

Hey Folks,

My '99 R1100SA just clicked past 42,000 miles recently, and I thought that this winter I'd finally do its first spline inspection and lube. I've never had any problems with it so far, with perfect shifting and no noticeable leaks. Once the job is done, I'd like to not have to open it up again for this purpose for at least another 40-50,000 miles. I'm leaning toward having a local, reputable shop handle the job, due to my lack of a suitable work area. I have two questions:

1) While it's apart, and assuming the splines only need lubing, what other important parts and seals should get replaced?

2) If the clutch friction plate needs to be replaced, what items, besides it, should get added to my parts list?

Yes, I've searched past posts, and while helpful, most of the posts I found dealt with bikes that had a variety of clutch-related parts and seals that had already failed, unlike the situation with my bike, which I'm intending to be mainly preventative.

A big thanks to any of you who'll take a moment to help with some solid advice. Ride well. --Frank
Old 01-04-2008, 11:38 AM
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If you've done your research, you probably already know this, but there are a number of folks (myself included) that think a preventative spline lube teardown is just as likely to cause a problem as prevent one. But there are lots of opinions on this.

On "other parts" I'd wait until you get in there and replace on condition. A clutch that hasn't been abused may be only slightly worn at 40K. I would replace all the seals you can easily get to.

- Mark
Old 01-04-2008, 03:53 PM
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Frank,

I agree with Mark somewhat. if your bike is shifting smooth and you haven't abused it, it may not need anything replaced. Those bikes that ate their splines either did so at lower mileage, or exhibited notchy shifting... If you do long distances I understand wanting peace of mind.... Which is why I have checked my 2002 twice in 40K and have discovered zero wear. I do think greasing throwout bearing in the clutch slave cylinder is a good idea should be done periodically, and it is easily accessible.



Stuart Ostroff was left stranded... at 20K Breakdown - pix of parts


Having a reputable shop perform your maintenance, as you stated in your post, should help prevent any unintended problems...
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:33 PM
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What harm can be done by going into the bike pre-emptively?
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:41 AM
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Not getting everything back together as good as it was before you went in. But it does give you a chance to take out a lot of unnecessary washers the factory puts in, but we know only add weight to our svelte, swift machines......
Old 01-05-2008, 08:36 AM
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There are always risks when you completely take apart something that is running fine and put it back together.

I also believe that the most likely cause of premature spline wear has nothing to do with lack of lube - it is misallignment of the parts. And what are you doing when you do the lube? You're completely taking everything apart and re-aligning the parts.

And just in case there is any misconception, BMW has no factory maintenance requirement whatsoever to lube these splines.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 01-05-2008 at 08:55 AM..
Old 01-05-2008, 08:52 AM
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Wow, how timely. I have a 2000 S that I plan to ship overseas for a trip in Mar-Apr. At 60K there has been oil residue in the shelf under the transmission for a long time. The clutch slips if I really try to launch hard from a stop but other than that it is fine. Last spring I replaced a clutch on another S because of it was oiled. I was amazed how many seals needed to be replaced.

So I know the clutch should be good for about 100k unless a seal leaks. Since I have the oil residue and some small slipping I feel like I should open it up and look before the trip. However what if I replace things and knick a seal that starts leaking on the trip. At this time of year I will not be able to put a lot of miles on the bike before I go, to make sure things are right.

Decisions, decisions.

RB
Old 01-06-2008, 12:22 PM
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No worries. Because you NEED to replace the clutch and seal now. Once they start slipping at all, it's almost always (barring complete babying, and sometimes even then) a fairly rapid downward spiral. It also increases the likelihood that you'll need to replace the two metal bits on the clutch. You'd really have to hose a seal up badly, for it to be worse than what you already have. Not saying you couldn't make the trip, but I've had 1 customer each of the last two years, whose bike was trailered home after leaving home with a very minor clutch slip.
Good luck
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger albert View Post
It also increases the likelihood that you'll need to replace the two metal bits on the clutch.
Flywheel and pressure plate? I thought those always got replaced with a new disc. If the disc is still in limits, how about degreasing it? The disc I replaced last year was only 50% worn at 60K.

RB
Old 01-06-2008, 03:12 PM
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Degreasing??? A disk only costs $140... How much are you spending to go overseas for his trip..Not to mention your time doing the R&R. Is it Really worth the gamble?
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
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Degreasing??? A disk only cost $140... How much are you spending to go overseas for his trip..Not to mention your time doing the R&R. Is it Really worth the gamble?
OK, good point. I just hate throwing stuff out that is not completely used up. Also think of $4-500 for the complete clutch set.

RB
Old 01-06-2008, 04:22 PM
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Well... Although it may be unpopular... except for the diaphragm spring I am prone to reusing the steel pieces, if they are not burned/checked/warped...
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:25 PM
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Okay, folks. I appreciate all of your responses. Sorry I've been offline for the week.

So I'm hearing some advice about perhaps avoiding the disassembly so long as I have no problems. That's certainly worth considering, especially if the reassembly ends up preciptating the problems I'm trying to prevent. And yes, I know that BMW does not call for any regular service or lubing of those splines. So I'm on the fence a bit now. But my bike was built 10 years ago this fall (now with 42,000 miles). And although the lube isn't as important as is the actual component alignment, having no lube remaining on the splines would eventually result in metal on metal contact and the possible wearing off of the hardened surfaces. I'm not looking for an excuse to spend money, and I'm not looking to replace the clutch or related parts unless necessary. Mostly, I'm looking for the peace of mind to be able to take long trips without worrying about this specific type of failure, which has received a lot of attention on this site. So if I decide to go through this process, can anyone tell me what specifc seals or other related items I should replace, as long as the clutch friction plate is okay? What I'm guessing from my shop manual is in addition to inspecting and lubing the input shaft splines, it may be good idea to proactively replace the entire slave cylinder unit, unless simply replacing the slave cylinder sealing rings is good enough. Additionally, I assume the input shaft sealing ring should be replaced. But what about the output shaft sealing ring and the input shaft sealing ring at the output end, as well as the shaft sealing rings for the selector drum and selctor shaft? These last four seals look like they might be replaceable with the bike assembled, but probably easier with it apart. Or should I just leave those seals intact if they're not leaking?

I'll query the shop before I agree to any work being done, but I want to have a possible list of parts and options to discuss, and sound semi-informed. The BMW shop I've contacted claims they can have the bike apart, lube the splines and reassembled it in between four and five hours. If true, their labor for this would work out to $400 plus tax. The cost and time of seal replacement would be added. Like I said previously, I don't have a suitable place at home to do this job myself, or I'd tackle it.

Thank you very much for anyone who took the time to help me with my questions. Frank
Old 01-11-2008, 11:11 AM
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I'm in the middle of the repair you are considering. I tore the bike down because of a slipping clutch and discovered moderate wear on the transmission input splines. I didn't want to put a brand new friction disk on worn splines, so I'm doing the complete rebuild. All clutch parts + input shaft and all seals and slave cylinder.


Root cause for my slipping disk was a leaking rear input shaft seal (seal at slave cylinder). Oil ran down actuation rod and got on friction disk. All the parts ain't cheap, so don't skimp and do in half way.


George
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:26 PM
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My own story of 5 clutchs in 30k miles includes such a real seal failure.

The first clutch failed at 1500 miles and my S was the first one ever torn down at the dealer. Woo Hoo!

1,500 miles later, the clutch had oil on it again. I took it to a different dealer. The seal that was replaced the first time was the front seal not the (counter-intuitive) real seal. The 2nd shop replaced the oily bits as well as the rear seal. It has never failed since.

Recently I had input shaft spline failure at 29k. I told my mechanic about the rear seal story earlier in the bike's life.

He said that there is a tiny bleed hole that can be drilled at the aft end of the tranny. He did this for me when he did the spline work. He claims that if the seal were to weep again, the oil would not reach the clutch, exiting through the 'weep hole' at the rear of the tranny instead. With the transmission installed you can see the hole if you look carefully.

-Bill
Old 01-14-2008, 08:36 AM
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can you diagram a drawing with the location of the weep hole?
My tranny is out and a touratech ceramic clutch plate is going in as we speak.
It's now (I believe) the general consensus that spline wear is caused by a misaligned rear crankcase/transmission interface. 'Indexing' the 'bellhousing' (actually the tranny but you get my drift) is supposed to help.

I'm having the inner and outer flywheel friction assemblies skimmed (for the correct thickness of the ceramic plate) and the friction surfaces induction hardened. Having machinist friends is nice.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:51 AM
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Jony, sounds like he added a drain .... Not a bad idea. Measure how far into the case the slave cylinder goes in, and drill a hole from the bottom of the case angling forward up to just past that point.... Then if either the tranny input shaft rear seal, or the slave cylinder leaks... The fluid will escape from that small hole...
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:15 AM
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can you diagram a drawing with the location of the weep hole?
My tranny is out and a touratech ceramic clutch plate is going in as we speak.
It's now (I believe) the general consensus that spline wear is caused by a misaligned rear crankcase/transmission interface. 'Indexing' the 'bellhousing' (actually the tranny but you get my drift) is supposed to help.

I'm having the inner and outer flywheel friction assemblies skimmed (for the correct thickness of the ceramic plate) and the friction surfaces induction hardened. Having machinist friends is nice.

I have been throwing around the idea of buying the Touratech Ceramic clutch
which one did you go with and what are the benefits ?
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:19 AM
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How does one ensure that the tranny and crankcase are aligned correctly when reassembled so that added stress is not placed on the splines? Or is this an issue regarding how the components were machined from the factory? If the splines have normal wear, can you assume that the machining was correct and that reassembling the components is pretty straightforward? Last but not least, what is the type of the grease used on those splines? I did a search, and once again, there are a few types mentioned, depending on who you ask.

Thanks, folks.
Old 01-14-2008, 11:13 AM
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'I have been throwing around the idea of buying the Touratech Ceramic clutch
which one did you go with and what are the benefits ?'

the one that fits an 1100S is for, I believe, an 1150GS. the advantage? it doesn't slip and is tough. it engages more abruptly but hooks up mo 'bettah then the stocker.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:22 AM
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