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#725749 - 09/10/11 01:33 AM Final Drive Minder  
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realshelby Online
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realshelby  Online
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Much has been said about BMW Final Drive issues. I certainly would not feel good about a machine that left me stranded on the highway. On the other hand, if you can catch the problems with the final drive before they come to a catastrophic failure it is MUCH less of an issue. My '04 RT had 52,800 miles on it. I could tell something wasn't right, thought it was the driveshaft. When I pulled the drain plug on the final drive.....I knew where the vibration/noise was coming from! Lots of shiny, sharp metal particles. LST, I spent about $130 on parts and fixed it myself. That is less than the chain and sprockets I recently put on the V Strom. And it would have went thru at least two sets!

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION!

What if there was a way to see the small metal shavings from the bearings in between final drive service intervals? Caught early it is usually cheap to fix. CAUGHT EARLY IT WOULD PROBABLY NEVER LEAVE YOU STRANDED! The peace of mind on a long trip from checking the magnet and seeing no sharp, shiny metal would be priceless.

Below are pictures of some prototypes of a device I came up with to check for the dreaded shiny, sharp metal particles in the final drive oil. I have offered these to some members here on the board, some are running them now, some didn't want to try them. Really need to get a handfull into Oilheads with higher mileage or those that have had final drive issues and maybe suspect they were not rebuilt correctly.

Two views of the base and insert assembled as they would be in the final drive:


This view is of the "indicator" part threaded out of the base:

I am using high strength magnets to insure the particles suspended in the oil will stay on the magnet even though they are at about the level of the oil when parked. This is a 19mm wrench the magnet is holding!

This is one of the prototypes installed in my RT. This is a stainless steel version, most have been aluminum. I put about 450 miles on it yesterday and there was quite a bit of the dark sludge on the magnet. That is normal wear particles. You can clean the magnet and it will attract those same kind of particles as it sits overnight!



The knurled handle makes it very easy to check at a fuel stop during a trip or just when you are doing a "pre flight". I make these totally at home in my shop. What do y'all think?

#725754 - 09/10/11 01:58 AM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
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Evening Terry

Looks good.

My only question is, seeing as the device sits magnet facing down unlike a magnetic drain plug with magnet facing up so the magnet could possibly slide out of the device & end up between the gears if the epoxy fails. Especially as the ferrous magnet probably expands at a different rate than the surrounding barrel.

The part the magnet sits in seems to be non magnetic (aluminum or stainless so magnetic attraction wouldn’t help hold the magnet in either)

Of maybe I am missing something & you have a positive magnet attachment like a pin or heavy press fit?


D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#725756 - 09/10/11 02:14 AM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: dirtrider]  
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realshelby Online
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Thought about the press fit early on. These magnets are brittle by nature and I don't trust that process for that reason. The magnet is a slip fit in the bore. I push J B Weld epoxy into the bore and then coat the magnet with it. I have to push the magnet in to overcome the trapped air in the bore. Once that is done the magnet depth is adjusted and the end is coated with more epoxy. This type of J B Weld takes all night to set up. The magnet will break apart before it comes out of the bore. I even heated it with a propane torch to a temp much warmer than it will see in a final drive with no release issues. Since these are "prototypes" I am open to any and all thoughts, critizism, etc. I would like to get several in use and see who is the first to detect a metal sliver that would normally be unnoticed for maybe thousands of miles...

#725780 - 09/10/11 04:08 AM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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szurszewski Offline
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Looks like an interesting idea. I'm a worrier, which makes motorcycling interesting and oxymoronical at times, so I think I'd enjoy something like this (let me stop worrying for a few miles at least without having to drain the final drive to check).

I'd be happy to try one out in my 96 R1100RT if you like - about 88,xxx miles currently - had a new crown bearing put in .... hmm... a few thousand miles ago (I could look it up if you like). Send me a PM if that's appealing.

josh


*insert witty remark here*
#725825 - 09/10/11 01:01 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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GrayNFast Offline
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Waycross, GA, USA
I would be interested. Y2K 1100RT with 42,000 miles.
Please PM with price and ordering info.

Dean


IBA, SS1K, BB1500
You can never know too much.
Evolution favors the unusual - lucky me.
Retired, US Navy Chief
Pride Runs Deep (submarine qualified maintenance spook)
#725827 - 09/10/11 01:11 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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ElevenFifty Offline
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Very interested - 04RT 117K all original - so far no symptoms of bearing failure but it's a high-miler and I've started changing oil every 3-4K.

DH


'cloud hidden - whereabouts unknown.
'04RT - 152K and the prettiest girl at the dance
'05 FJR - 21K Holy **** what a motor!
#725832 - 09/10/11 01:21 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: GrayNFast]  
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realshelby Online
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Originally Posted By: GrayNFast
I would be interested. Y2K 1100RT with 42,000 miles.
Please PM with price and ordering info.

Dean


These are prototype units and not for sale. I posted to show my idea and see if we could get some of them out there for testing durability and function. Each unit has been slightly different as I make improvements. I am going to order more material to machine more of these...it looks like there is interest in the theory/design. If I get buried in requests...I'll have to let everyone know. For now I could still handle a few more inquiries for gineau pigs...err Beta Testers!

#725891 - 09/10/11 06:07 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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realshelby Online
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realshelby  Online
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Response has been really good. To the point I am going to ask to hold off on the pm's till I give the go ahead for more. I intend to do more, I am going to be out of material to machine to cover the responses so far. I am ordering more but it will be late next week before I get it.

#725952 - 09/10/11 09:37 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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taylor1 Offline
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Harkers Island N.C.
2002 RT 26,000 miles Seems like I may be in that critical milage range. Would love to have one. Please keep us posted !! Thanks

#726072 - 09/11/11 01:49 PM Re: Final Drive Minder [Re: realshelby]  
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bobbybob Offline
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Just thinking (not good)....the heavier debris pieces might fall to the the bottom of the drive and stay there, missing the magnet altogether....?


Bob
2017 R1200RT-LC
2015 R1200GS
2010 R12000GS (gone)
2007 R1200RT (gone)
2008 KLR650 (gone)
2007 F650GS (gone)
2006 FJR1300 (gone)
2005 V-Strom (gone)
2005 E-Glide Classic (gone)
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