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Thread: Clutch and input shaft spline - need advice please

  1. #61
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrpetersen View Post
    Barrel shaped wear on spline teeth will only happen with simultaneous inverse barrel shaped wear on the clutch hub.
    Not true. Look, I'm really not trying to pick on you but while I can theorize with the best of them, theory is only valid when it's applied in a relevant way. The facts don't support the way you've been theorizing.

    Looking at heavily worn 1150 clutch splines we can see the angled wear pattern. Let's say it's 5??. Does anyone - ANYONE - honestly think there is a 5?? misalignment between the engine and transmission, or a 5?? warp in the clutch carrier? Believe me, the former would have the bike going in circles and the latter wouldn't have room to turn between the engine and transmission.

    Understanding that the 5?? comes from something else is critical.
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  2. #62
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Hi Anton, as you have said you have never seen a repeat failure after repaired once so maybe I missed something but what do you think accounts for the problem if not mis-alignment? Could it be they all will eventually fail due to normal wear and the design just not beefy enough ( spline shaft not long enough, hard enough, etc.) and Paul is right when he says lube every 40K or so to hold off the problem? It has always seemed a stretch to me to believe BMW can't hold manufacturing tolerances close enough to avoid bolting on a bunch of misaligned trannies.
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
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  3. #63
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    i have nowhere near the experience that Anton or Paul have- but my assessment of the situation, based on failure circumstances of either these things blowing apart at painfully low miles (30K range, and then again and again) or at a much higher mileage (70K+) is that both misalignment and inadequate/incorrect lubrication are at work here.
    low mileage with repeated failure = misalignment. will continue unabated, unless teh alignment between engine and trans is addressed.
    high mileage = lubrication. only needs to be lubed to prevent/avoid future failures.

    any part can/will eventually fail, on any machine- so yes, whatever you have will eventually fail, given enough usage.

    just my $.02, worth what you paid for it.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #64
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Not true. ...The facts don't support the way you've been theorizing.

    Looking at heavily worn 1150 clutch splines we can see the angled wear pattern. Let's say it's 5??. Does anyone - ANYONE - honestly think there is a 5?? misalignment between the engine and transmission, or a 5?? warp in the clutch carrier? Believe me, the former would have the bike going in circles and the latter wouldn't have room to turn between the engine and transmission.
    Have you ever seen that sort of angular tooth wear on one spline - but NOT on the mating one?
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  5. #65
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    This is the type of rig you need to accurately measure engine-transmission alignment. First the transmission must be disassembled and the case remounted onto the back of the engine. The run out measuring rig attaches to the flywheel using a couple of rare earth magnets salvaged from a junk hard drive. The magnets are epoxied to a standoff and extension crudely made from a piece of 1/2 inch conduit and a metal pad.

    The end of the conduit is sawed at ~45 degrees and notched to hold a standard dial test indicator. A screw clamps the dovetail on the back of the indicator.

    The test rig (painted blue now) is then magnetically mounted onto three of the flywheel bolts. Those rare earth magnets hold like all fury.

    The dial indicator is mounted in the notch and with a lot of fussing is set to read the bore of the transmission input shaft bearing. This type of indicator has a measurement range of only +/- .015 inch so it takes a little while to get everything into proper position.

    The dial indicator can be read thru the transmission housing as the crankshaft/flywheel is rotated:

    It can also be used to measure the crankshaft rear main bearing clearance in any axis by simply prying on the flywheel and noting the backlash.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  6. #66
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    OMG!!!

    Thank heavens my splines are pristine at 38K miles.

    To tell the truth I don't understand the info in your pictures. I mean I can't figure out how to set up or perform the measurements you are describing. You must dis-assemble the transmission??
    Last edited by Red100RT; 12-01-2011 at 08:55 PM.
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
    MOA # 50714

  7. #67
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red100RT View Post
    Thank heavens my splines are pristine at 38K miles. .............You must dis-assemble the transmission??
    You very likely don't have an alignment problem. Just renew the spline lube on a normal schedule per Paul Glaves.

    Yes, this check requires the transmission to be fully disassembled. It is only for those that have to put in a new input shaft.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  8. #68
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red100RT View Post
    Hi Anton, as you have said you have never seen a repeat failure after repaired once so maybe I missed something but what do you think accounts for the problem if not mis-alignment? ... and Paul is right when he says lube every 40K or so to hold off the problem?
    I personally don't know of any repeat failures after I have done a complete clutch replacement. Several bikes I've fixed were two-time losers when I got them. I don't know of any other such bikes either, but it's by no means impossible. If the root cause isn't fixed, another failure is possible. It's quite possible that the root cause is not always what is addressed.

    Misalignment is a broad term. I think just about everything can be called misalignment in some way. Some people need to specify more clearly which sort they are suggesting.

    I really don't think lube will save a bad bike. I'm not the only one that's seen the remnants of stripped splines covered in fairly fresh grease. And there are plenty of dry and rusty splines discovered that look like new once they're cleaned up.

    Quote Originally Posted by nrpetersen View Post
    Have you ever seen that sort of angular tooth wear on one spline - but NOT on the mating one?
    Of course; why else would I refute what you said? I've seen that, logically enough, on the splines we're discussing. R1150-generation six-speed input shafts. Not /5 splines, not early 5-speed splines, not '81-on splines, not Oilhead 5-speed splines like Paul's 350,000 mile bike. Let me stress that the spline arrangement under discussion here is geometrically unlike the others. This is significant. Anyone seeking to understand this problem needs to understand the implications of the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by nrpetersen View Post
    This is the type of rig you need to accurately measure engine-transmission alignment....
    BTDT! Mine was bolted to the crank, but the magnets should work too. I made a bunch of spiderweb charts and then concluded there was nothing in it. If you want to establish causality, you'll need to measure a bunch of good ones also because otherwise you won't know that your 0.0whatever millimeter misalignment is or isn't also present on every 'good' bike out there. By the way, the bike you show is NOT one of the models under discussion.

    And BTW2, that rig alone doesn't detect angular misalignment (which I doubt exists at all). It only detects translational misalignment of the front bearing bore.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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  9. #69
    Rally Rat cat0020's Avatar
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    My 2002 R1150RS went thru similar ordeal at 28k mi. on odometer.

    Since the bike had less than 30k mi., the clutch/tranny shaft replacement were performed under warranty late 2003.









    OEM vs Touratech ceramic clutch plate:




  10. #70
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Interesting in that your second photo showing the bad splines also shows what looks like metal particles which might have been visible had you removed the starter motor and taken a peek?
    Jammess

    '93 R1100RSL, '10 FJR1300A
    MOA # 50714

  11. #71
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    I personally don't know of any repeat failures after I have done a complete clutch replacement. Several bikes I've fixed were two-time losers when I got them. I don't know of any other such bikes either, but it's by no means impossible. If the root cause isn't fixed, another failure is possible. It's quite possible that the root cause is not always what is addressed.
    Do you always use a clutch pack alignment tool - BMW or of equal precision? (I presume so) That could be why you see no repeated failures.
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Misalignment is a broad term. I think just about everything can be called misalignment in some way. Some people need to specify more clearly which sort they are suggesting.

    I really don't think lube will save a bad bike. (agree)I'm not the only one that's seen the remnants of stripped splines covered in fairly fresh grease. And there are plenty of dry and rusty splines discovered that look like new once they're cleaned up.
    I don't see how the internal and external spline surfaces could go non-conjugal with either type (radial or angular) of misalignment. Non-conjugal would imply that wear is magicly occurring without contact.
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Of course; why else would I refute what you said? I've seen that, logically enough, on the splines we're discussing. R1150-generation six-speed input shafts. Not /5 splines, not early 5-speed splines, not '81-on splines, not Oilhead 5-speed splines like Paul's 350,000 mile bike. Let me stress that the spline arrangement under discussion here is geometrically unlike the others. This is significant. Anyone seeking to understand this problem needs to understand the implications of the difference.
    How are they functionally different?
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    BTDT! Mine was bolted to the crank, but the magnets should work too. I made a bunch of spiderweb charts and then concluded there was nothing in it. If you want to establish causality, you'll need to measure a bunch of good ones also because otherwise you won't know that your 0.0whatever millimeter misalignment is or isn't also present on every 'good' bike out there. By the way, the bike you show is NOT one of the models under discussion.
    But the problem seems to be across all oilhead (and a few airhead) R bikes. I recognize only radial and angular misalignment between the engine and transmission axes. Are there others?
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    And BTW2, that rig alone doesn't detect angular misalignment (which I doubt exists at all). It only detects translational misalignment of the front bearing bore.
    Yes it specifically looks for radial misalignment of the only transmission bearing that can radially fatigue load and fret the spline system. Angular misalignment would be much easier to check by sweeping the mating surface from each element with a dial indicator and a spanning flat bar to handle the changing effective radii of each mating surface.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  12. #72
    FatChance
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    Anton - have you ever tried to have a clutch housing (and pressure plates, etc) refurbished and rebalanced? Would the issues with a bad clutch unit be something that a good machinist with proper equipment could straighten out?

    Since you have not seen a repeat problem with a new clutch (presumably new, not a used one from another bike), does this imply that there was a manufacturing problem with the original clutch that has now been remedied with later spare part production?

    My 49K mile '00 1150GS is sitting tail up with this exact problem and the transmission input shaft is being replaced right now, so I am interested why you think that a new (or a different used?) clutch would not have the same likelihood of re-causing this problem as the original clutch?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by FatChance; 12-02-2011 at 05:52 PM.

  13. #73
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
    Anton - have you ever tried to have a clutch housing (and pressure plates, etc) refurbished and rebalanced?
    Yes. It was a total failure; I had to go back in and replace it because the clutch chattered so badly. But it could be a successful approach if it's done right; I can only conclude that this one wasn't. And by right, I mean that EVERYTHING has to be true. The radial and axial alignment of both the mounting points and the spring seat, correct balance, maybe something else that doesn't occur to me.

    I think there are just some crappy clutch housings out there and half a percent (or whatever) of the bikes got them. In that case, get a new one and you have a 99.x% chance of getting a good one.

    Several years ago I moved out of the research phase and into the solution phase. I don't have anything new to add here.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  14. #74
    FatChance
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    I think there are just some crappy clutch housings out there and half a percent (or whatever) of the bikes got them. In that case, get a new one and you have a 99.x% chance of getting a good one.
    Do you also replace the cover, pressure plate and diaphragm spring along with the housing? Thanks!

  15. #75
    JohnWC
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    Smile

    This has been one of the most fascinating, and educational threads I think I have ever read on this site. Extremely illuminating. Great pictures, too. I just wanted to thank everyone involved for taking the time to share their hard won expertise and experiences. It's got to take many years of hands on work to get to the level of understanding some people exhibit about these machines. I believe all of us in the BMW community have learned a great deal on this topic. At least I know I certainly have.

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