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GUS GUS is offline
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Rear Wheel Play

Hi all
Whilst out riding today i noticed a vague floaty feeling from the rear end.It felt like the rear tyre was under inflated.Upon closer inspection i noticed quite a bit of movement (top yo bottom)in the rear wheel.I looked through old threads concerning this and found out that play can be eliminated by adjusting rear bearing.Has any body who has done this please run through the procedure.Any help would be most appreciated.


regards gus

Old 02-01-2003, 01:48 PM
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I suspect the play is at the rear end of the driveline housing/swing arm?? Check closely! If it where the wheel bearing you would also have ugle sounds at the wheel bearings are also the ring gear carrier bearings and the gear would almost for certain have been destroyed. Play is common in the needle bearing where the front of the gear case pivots on the back of the driveline housing/swing arm. That is a very simple tapered needle bearing that is adjusted just like the front wheel bearings on a car (RW drive type). You need a 12mm allan wrench (which is not a common piece) a large 28MM? wrench and a propane tourch. Remove the rear wheel, on the inboard side of the swing arm, first loosen the big jamb nut, then try to loosen the big allan, (bet you can't) take the propane tourch and warm it, not hot hot, just need 400 degrees to kill loctite, once loose back it out a few turns, brush off the old loctite, let it cool, put on new then screw it in to zero play, undo the paralver link, rock the gear case up & down to confirm the bearing is smooth, adjust further if needed, tighten the big jamb nut.

If the problem really is in side the gear case take it to the dealer and plan on a 2nd mortgage.
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:06 PM
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BMW is having a rash of rear drive seal and bearing failures. If that is where your trouble lies, talk to your dealer. The rear drive runs approximately 900 USD.

-Jeff
Old 02-01-2003, 03:18 PM
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Thanx guys
dave,i take it you mean by the uj joint large allen nut?Is there any way i can check if it that or just do it anyway and go from there.Jgrm 1 my bike is well out of warranty 1998 bike 33000 miles,so i dont think i'll get any sympathy if it rear drive bearings.

regards gus
Old 02-01-2003, 03:33 PM
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My friend's K1200RS has freeplay on the rear wheel (right to left).
The dealer says its the bearings (the small ones about 5 inches forward of the hub).
They say these are supposed to be replaced every 24k miles.
Old 02-01-2003, 04:17 PM
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Yes, almost, it is actually a rear swing arm pivot that parallels the rear U joint. One day at abt 15k on my 1999 bike I found it to be very loose! With the bike on the centerstand, or otherwise blocked up so the rear wheel is off the ground just grab the wheel and rock it up and down, in and out and put a finger on the joint of each conection until you confirm which moves.
Another reason I am doubting that it is the gear case is you would probubly have gear lube ozzing out.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:20 PM
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That would be the same bearing I am talking about, I had not heard the 24K but that does not sound unreasonable but your friend should try adjusting it, then seeing if it rotates smooth as I described above before replacing. Mine had a good 1/4 inch play yet the bearing was in excellent condition when I dissasembled it.
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:25 PM
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Dave
Thanks for the info,mine has nowhere near1/4 play so hopefully will adjust up ok.Will have a look during the week and let you know outcome.

regards gus
Old 02-02-2003, 03:09 AM
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GUS, I posted this yesterday to the ibmwr big list-

'One of my brother-in-laws had the pivot bearings, on his R1100GS, replaced by the dealer. I don't know the mileage but he had taken it in for adjustment when they had some play. My other brother-in-law had the pivot bearings on his S adjusted at the dealer, when they loosened.

A couple of weeks ago the S rider, with 39k miles, came over and the pivot bearings were loose again. I pulled the adjustable pin and inserted my index finger to feel the bearing. When I rotated my finger there was a crunchy feeling, the same as a bicycle wheel bearing when there is grit or rust in it. On removing my finger there was a rust colored grease coating on it. We adjusted the bearings to spec and the play is gone but we will replace the bearings as soon as possible.

My take on this, is that if they become loose then inspect and regrease or replace. A routine regreasing at 24k might not be a bad idea.'

The adjustable stud(on the inside of the swingarm) should be set to 7Nm then mark it to make sure it does not move when you tighten the locknut to 160Nm.

RB
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Old 02-03-2003, 02:32 AM
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Rust. That could/would be common? Mine did not have rust but was certainly ready for grease. The bearing is fairly small for the job, (I suspect a matter of trying to get it into the space). It is an comon design taper roller bearing but unusual in that it has a very low taper angle. The result is when loose the wheel moves almost straight side to side with very little tilt angle change, thus we hardly notice it in riding.
I used to be in the dirt bike business and after a while I determined the number of repairs a bike need was in direct relationship to the number of times it was pressure washed. Usual deal was the rider washes the bike, leaves the muffler wet and the rod & main bearing rust (2 strokes are open path from muffler to crankcase when the piston is down). Wheel & steering head bearings are standard rust repair items
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Old 02-03-2003, 09:02 AM
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If you have side to side slop, then look at the pivot bearings and if you have up and down slop check the front paralever bushing. If the bike is on a center stand and you grab the tire from the side(hand in front and a hand at the rear and try to get play from the tire) that would indicate pivot adjustment is needed. However, what happens if you put the bike in gear and attempt to rotate? If you observe the rear drive moving, all you need to do is retorque the front paralever bushing. My bike did exactly this and unfortunately this procedure is not prescribed in any of the services exactly and most people fail to recognize the front bushing needs to be retorqued. If you need the retorque spec on that bushing just ask. But youll notice its probably hand tight and any tightening will improve it., or worse yet the bushing is just plain wore out.
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Old 02-03-2003, 09:10 AM
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Hi all,
Bobby are you refering to the paralever/frame pivot when you mention paralever bushing?If so i would be grateful if you could explain how to adjust and torque settings.With reference to regreasing bearing,would bearing have to be removed for this or grease up me finger and insert in hole!Last option sounds much more fun.
regards gus
Old 02-03-2003, 10:02 AM
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Bobby, tightening the paralever bushing is only a factor if the bolt is loose. If the bushing is loose it would need to be replaced. More tourque on the bolt will not help a bad bushing.

Gus, the big Allen screw is kind of a peg that goes into the inner race of a bearing, you could remove the allan, remove the race and grease the left bearing, however the right bearing can not be re greased without removing the rear gear case, not a very big deal, you will need to cut the monster tie wrap att he rear boot and slede the drive line back. A little tricky but not over the top? If you do that the driveline spline should be put back together in the same spline alienment.
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:17 AM
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well respectively David,.....I dont think so. The paralever arm is two pieces at the frame end and when you retorque the through bolt, it will squeeze the rubber thus taking out slop. It is a wearing item, but just because there is play at the front paralever/torque arm doesnt mean it needs replacing. Like I said in my first 1000 miles on my "S", it started riding like constant flat tire. I first suspected pivot arm bearings, however they had nothing to do with it. The front bushing had play and the bolt was not much more then hand tight. By retorquing to spec all problems were solved. Now on a high mileage bike wear will be more of an issue. But by tighting the front bolt you will tighten the bushing thus taking away the slop. The best fix is to replace the torque arm/paralever assembly but that cost alot more then taking the time to retorque and see what results.

As for recommendations on removing the pivot bolt. The rear tire will ofcourse have to be removed. Secure the bike somehow other then just the centerstand as you will be putting alot of effort into removing the allan bolt. Applying heat can help, but is tricky within the nice powdercoat finish it is threaded into. Once you have removed the pivot bolt, be certain to take a wire brush and/or pic and totally clean up the threads. Add grease if you have a good grease needle to apply with. And then install bolt. On the last couple of threads(towards the allan head/ outer end) it is recommended to put some lock tite on. Then retorque. If you do not totally clean the threads, it will be harder to retorque the bearings to spec as the dirty threads will add a level of difficulty.
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:33 AM
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Bobby;
Sorry to disagree, but the bolt does not tighten against rubber. It tightens against a steel bushing that has the rubber bonded to it. If the bolt is loose tightening will fix (unless there is wear on the parts from being used loose in which case it will come loose again). If the rubber is worn all the tightening in the world will not help. This is standard design for rubber bushings that have the bushings thrust 90 degrees to the anchor bolt such as your front lower shock mount. Conversely your front upper shock mount has the load parallel to the bolt/shaft and the rubber is not bonded to a steel bushing and increasing torque may compensate for wear.
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:55 AM
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it does tighten against rubber and there is a metal bushing within the rubber, however it is possible(particularly when new) that you can obtain the torque value and the metal plate not be bottomed out on the inner metal bushing. Thus with a little time and mileage the bushing will need to be retorqued, otherwise it will ride horribly and will wear considerably faster then it should.
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Old 02-03-2003, 12:04 PM
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OK guys,i,ve got the pivot bearing thang sussed.How about torque settings and procedure for tightning up rubbery,metal bush thangs.Sorry to pick your brains so much guys,but i like to go in armed with as much info as poss.

many thanks gus
Old 02-03-2003, 02:53 PM
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Torque the paralever bushings to 43nm. If you take the paralever(reaction link per BMW books) and remove it all together. Then first mount the frame side and torque it first. I unfortunately dont have a measurement standard for you to go by. But once the frame end is torqued,.......apply side to side pressure(Left to Right), there should be resistance in either direction. If the bar wobbles with little effort, then its time for a new link. Not real specific, but if you have ever replaced suspension bushings on a car or truck, you just know when they are worn out.
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:09 PM
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These post have been some of the most convoluted of recent weeks and I can't believe the lack of knowledge that gets slung around here. I can see why BMW of Atlanta changes hands, and employes so much however, especially after reading Bobby's post on this and other subjects as well. Bobby, are you a parts person there? I KNOW you are not a wrench.

I can't sense that any one posting on this subject has ever actually done the job total of removing the rear end completly, removing the tapered roller bearings between the rear end and the swing arm, inspecting them, regreasing or replacing them, and putting the whole thing back together to factory specs.

This is simply not a job for the bashful and the reason that S rear end pivot busings are failing is because no one, not even the dealers like to go in and inspect the inner bearing............ that is the one on the right side of the bike.

People just tighten the bearings from the left and keep on riding.

Don't do it. At the first sign of wear, remove the rear end if possible and replace both bearings. If they are loose for any time at all the damage is already done and you can hide the problem, but not fix it.

This is a weak area of the overall drivetrain design and these bearings should be replaced if they are ever allowed to run loose for very long.

The total job is not a nice one because of the heating, high torque, and percise preload needed on the "too small" bearings. The worst part of the job is in the final reassembly of the rear end to the swingarm. A number of factors come into affect here that can frustrate even the best prepared wrench.

I have done this complete job and the reward is a ultra smooth ride and suspension that literally glides over the rough sweepers. Just be prepared for a task if you plan to do the job right......... by removing the total unit, so that both bearings can be inspected, greased, and reinstated to duty.

The factory BMW grease for the tapered bearings is too thin in my opinion. It is silver with a fine "stickability" but can't seem to take the pounding over time, nor the condensation that builds up in the area to eventualy cause rust if the factory grease thins and seperates from the bearing rollers and race.

I use a thick red, high temperture, waterproof grease that I got from "Ring Power" and it is used on Caterpillar high pressure sleeve fittings. It does not come off, period.

Clean all threads with acetone before assembly to assure proper preload and torque.

Good Luck of this job that must eventually be done by all "S" riders that run their bike hard on rough roads. Regular, smooth road, paced riders may never need to do the job.

Still great bikes, these S bikes are, as we will all see at Daytona....... where the BCR's will cause quite a stir in Sunday event. Best,
Old 02-03-2003, 07:36 PM
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Dr Curve, You have gone out of context and started making accusations,...........therefore youre out of line. BMW Atlanta has NEVER CHANGED hands!! You know nothing of BMW Atlanta. My family bought and opened up a new franchise 2 years ago to date and became #11 in that small time frame. For someone only 6 hours away, you are very ignorant of who is in the business and who your neighbors are. As for previous post(regarding clutch thread) It is way to funny you brought this up. Cause guess what comes in the Daytona Race kit from BMW of North America??????????A BMW (Boxer cup)Spec clutch for the R1100S along with a new rear drive unit that meets the demands of Daytona. So dont go thinking you know anything about the Boxer Cup in Daytona. Youre out of the loop as with many things it appears.

As for me turning wrenchs, I do it all here as an owner should. Am I a BMW Master Ceritified tech,........NO am I in the business 7 days a freaking week and 12 hours a day??????? YES!!!!!!!!!!! thats why we are #11 in under 2 years. Get your facts straight jerky.

As for rear wheel play. I challenge yourself or anyone to totally remove the rear drive. Yank the whole freaking thing out. Take the front pivot bolt for the reaction link ( the frame side) and install it without the reaction link. You will find that under compression of the bolt that the ear from the inside of the cross member flexes, only .5- 1.5 mm but more than enough to compress a rubber bushing within its space.

As for your "opinion" Thats all it is. Yes its great to tear the whole rear end out of the dang bike and replace everything, but is it necessary? Not in every case. If you catch the rear pivot going before it goes, you can get another 20 -30k out of it. I have seen it myself on a couple of RT's. If you remove the rear shock, which is easier then the whole rear drive assembly and can pivot everything without any notchiness, then drive on. If it has the least little bit of restriction or granularity in its movement, then tear it on down and go for broke. I had to re-torque my rear pivot bearing at 4600 miles as I caught it in time and now 6k+ later I am doing fine. Unfortunatley BMW does not prescribe a regular maintenance interval for these such minor adjustments, but should be identified at a scheduled maintenance. Thus guys turning thier own wrenches who are new to Beemers and havent had the luxury of attending Master Certification arent familiar with identifying these lil BMW Quirks. You have done a great job at summarizing the rear drive, but its far from a spec'ed out procedure. You seem to think that following the BMW procedure will lead you a stray????????You may think youre a God, but if you learned about your rear drive like youre learning about BMW Atlanta and the Boxer Cup, you probably fell on your face a time or two. I am sure according to you you would design a better bike. We could all contribute in that realm. You chose to buy a BMW,.........are you sure youre not above it?

I hope you learn your facts first next time around before you have diarehea of the mouth. You have a cute screen name but no name or affilliation...........So what you hiding from? I lay myself out on the line.

In any event God bless you someway somehow

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