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Thread: Tiny metal flakes on the drain plug -- should I be worried about my transmission?

  1. #31
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseamidmadness View Post

    Folks with a lot more experience with more bikes than me, are those all normal Oilhead noises?
    Yes.

    With the proper technique, the "clunks" can be minimised. Preload shifter, fan clutch lever on upshifts. Full pull on clutch lever and blip throttle on downshift.

  2. #32
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseamidmadness View Post
    I'm not trying to get out of working on my transmission, mind you. Brown transmission fluid isn't good regardless of noises.
    Another point to note. And I am not sure of the years but when BMW went to using greased, sealed bearings in the Oilhead transmissions a funny thing sometimes happened. People (owners mostly but a few dealers too) would use a synthetic gear lube. And when next checked the oil was brown. The synthetic lube was working past the bearing seals and washing out the grease. The bearings were still lubricated, but with gear oil like in the old days, but the washed out grease turned red, or yellow gear oil brown. One guy was so concerned at the start of an 11 day Iron Butt Rally that he had a replacement transmission shipped in. We found a garage and were prepared to swap out the R1100 transmission until he described his using synthetic gear oil for the first time in 40,000 miles. We convinced him it was washed out bearing grease and not to worry.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #33
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    After my experience with “sealed bearings”, https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...gs-on-a-F800GS,
    I have lost faith in the concept.
    OM
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  4. #34
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    They are not sealed bearings

    They are special TM bearings (aka clean bearings) and are lubricated by the oil.
    The seals pass/filter the oil.
    On the transmission case there is an oil channel to behind each bearing to allow for oil to flow through the bearing
    The bearings are clearly marked as TM in order that they may be identified and not mixed up with conventional sealed type 2RS bearings that are permanently lubricated with grease.

    https://www.nskamericas.com/en/prod....n-tm-seal.html
    https://wenku.baidu.com/view/85dc083...583d05a6c.html

    This design is now used in most every transmission, bearing life is many times longer than open or sealed bearings.
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  5. #35
    Neglected Bike Adopter
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    They are not sealed bearings

    They are special TM bearings (aka clean bearings) and are lubricated by the oil.
    The seals pass/filter the oil.
    On the transmission case there is an oil channel to behind each bearing to allow for oil to flow through the bearing
    The bearings are clearly marked as TM in order that they may be identified and not mixed up with conventional sealed type 2RS bearings that are permanently lubricated with grease.
    This is extremely useful information, thank you for sharing it! That picture of the bearing seats and oil passages is very telling.

    I've been shopping for transmission bearings and thought I had the parts all picked. Really good to know that what I had selected are not the correct kind. I read through what seemed like a perfect transmission rebuild guide on ADVRider where one user rebuilt an R1100GS transmission and I had pulled some parts numbers from it; unfortunately all the bearings he selected were 2RS bearings. I wonder if his gearbox ever had issues down the road.

    Though this also has me wondering, why is using dino gear oil so important if the bearings aren't fully sealed and are lubricated by the transmission oil? Is it just because of the theoretical issue with the ball bearings skating along their races instead of rolling?


    On the subject of the brown gear oil: I have no idea what the previous owners were putting in, but mine has twice come out brown and burnt-smelling and the transmission plug is routinely picking up small metal flakes so I know something's not right and I will still be opening it up sometime soon to find out exactly what.
    Owner of the saddest 1997 R850R you ever did see.

  6. #36
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    When doing a transmission I always end up using the OE ones (TM) as they are the only source.
    BMW NA or Motobins UK
    The BMW fiche describes them as clean bearings
    Bearing houses don't stock them and some don't even know what they are.
    They are very application specific.
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  7. #37
    Neglected Bike Adopter
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    I did find what appears to be an alternate and very common source for the 25x52x15 input shaft end bearing that the gear wears into -- according to this bearing house in the UK (https://www.bearings-online.co.uk/it...-25x52x15.html) manual transmissions in some GM cars use the same bearing and it has an ACDelco part number, 93368564. RockAuto carries that part for $35 each and tons of other GM parts shops have it in stock. Comes with a 2-year warranty!

    I plan to order one of these from RockAuto and see what actually shows up, and will post pictures when I have it in person. It certainly seems possible to me that GM ordered a few hundred thousand genuine NSK TM205 bearings to use in their transmissions.
    Shipping from RockAuto is $10 for the one part, unfortunately, so it'd be best to order it with other stuff, but it probably won't take a month to show up like a BMW order will.

    Edit: I also found an Ebay listing that seems to further confirm the part being identical -- some excellent pictures that show a genuine NSK TM205- marking and "POLAND" along with the GM part number. https://www.ebay.com/itm/36316922477...evt=1&mkcid=28
    Last edited by senseamidmadness; Yesterday at 05:57 PM.
    Owner of the saddest 1997 R850R you ever did see.

  8. #38
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseamidmadness View Post
    I did find what appears to be an alternate …….

    I plan to order one of these from RockAuto and see what actually shows up, ……..
    Shipping from RockAuto is $10 for the one part, unfortunately, so it'd be best to order it with other stuff, but it probably won't take a month to show up like a BMW order will.
    ."…"…………
    FWIW, I order the Mahle oil, air, and fuel filters for my Oilhead from RockAuto. I usually order a year of maintenance parts in one order which brings the shipping cost down to a fairly reasonable per item cost. I order my Airhead maintenance parts with the same order.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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