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Thread: 2011 R1200RT worn front wheel spacer

  1. #1

    2011 R1200RT worn front wheel spacer

    Non-Gearhead here doing some service on my 2011 R1200RT in preperation for my trip to the MOA rally in Des Moines; which for me will be upwards of a 3000-4000 mile trip as I'm visiting family in Missouri & Iowa in the process.

    Most recent work done was changing tires and brakes last weekend. All went well but when cleaning up the front wheel spacer found some wear on the outer surface on the side facing the wheel bearings. Wasn't much, if any, grease in that area so applied some automotive lithium grease to outer edge of both bearings and axle before putting everything back together.

    Question is this; is the wear on the spacer a problem and is it indicative of a larger problem with the wheel bearings? Should I replace the spacer and/or the wheel bearings just to be safe. I don't seem to have any play in the wheel and it seems to turn smoothly from what I can tell not being a gearhead.

    This is probably my first post ever, on any forum, so I hope I've made myself clear and that the two photos I'm attaching are visible with this post.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    Blind Cragg

    Former Harley, Rice Burner owner and now a BMW convert.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    It does not indicate a larger problem with the bearings. Looks like wear from the lip of the seal. Even though the bearings are sealed, I always load up the area under the seal with marine or trailer grease just to keep a layer of defense against road and wash splash getting to the sealed bearing. Also serves to lube the lip of the seal. The spacer looks symmetrical. If so, have you considered simply reversing it to let it wear on the opposite side? I'd try that first. Otherwise, the same 36 31 7 691 443 spacer fits all of the oil-cooled R1200's from early on to the end of production.

    https://shop.maxbmw.com/fiche/PartsS...20691%20443%0A
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    MOA 80364 | RA 29650 | ABC 3480 | IBA 8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  3. #3

    Good advice

    Thanks Lee, It does look to be symmetrical and I had considered flipping it around or just replacing it. I think I'll take your advice and flip it for the time being and check wear on the other end after putting some miles on.

  4. #4
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    It's easy enough to check wheel bearings when you change tires. I *almost* always do that, especially on models where wheel bearing problems are a known thing.

    But what I do always do is clean off the seal lip and spacer, and then apply a wipe of fresh grease. I see some wear on the spacer but almost never to the extent that your picture shows. That's from abrasive dirt that you need to remove. Wipe the seal lip clean with a rag. You will sometimes find hardened dirt and old grease that comes off in chunks.
    Anton Largiader 72724
    Tech articles - YouTube
    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    It's easy enough to check wheel bearings when you change tires..
    My favorite time to check front bearings is after the brake calipers are dismounted but before the wheel is removed. I can feel roughness and lateral play more easily then than with wheel in-hand. A mechanic's stethoscope can help one hear a faint thump or rumble developing. If I don't hear anything, I replace sealed wheel bearings at 40K miles regardless. Probably overkill.

    out with the old...

    004-M.jpg

    freeze the bearing...

    005-M.jpg

    A bit of press fit lube (to the bearing, not the bore) not only eases the fit, it keeps frost from forming on the cold bearing which can interfere with the fit.

    IMG_0562-M.jpg

    heat the bore...

    aaaa3-M.jpg

    in with the new...

    006-M.jpg

    Done and done. Now I can worry about something else...

    008-M.jpg
    Last edited by beemerphile; 06-14-2018 at 04:00 PM.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    MOA 80364 | RA 29650 | ABC 3480 | IBA 8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  6. #6
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Well I would never use a press to install a wheel bearing, but I have the means to heat the whole wheel. Ideally they drop or tap in.

    And in the pic below, I don't see a bearing spacer in there so I hope you were really just done with the first side....

    Quote Originally Posted by beemerphile View Post
    ...Done and done. Now I can worry about something else...

    008-M.jpg
    Anton Largiader 72724
    Tech articles - YouTube
    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Well I would never use a press to install a wheel bearing, but I have the means to heat the whole wheel. Ideally they drop or tap in.

    And in the pic below, I don't see a bearing spacer in there so I hope you were really just done with the first side....
    Yes, that was the first side. It is a 40 ton press, and clearly one shouldn't use tonnage to install the bearing. I have a pressure gauge on it and it stays at zero for the entire operation until it bottoms. I can also tell that the force is minimal by the sound of the air/hydraulic unit As soon as the gauge moves off zero, the bearing is seated. I use it because 1) it is there; 2) it has a big enough throat for the wheel; 3) I can square everything with no pressure on the brake discs and make sure the bearing starts and goes down squarely instead of trying to do straight licks with a hammer; 4) I don't have a (wife-approved) way to heat the entire wheel; 5) I hate using hammers either to get old bearings out (I use a blind puller) or new bearings in.

    I guess additionally when I was growing up my dad was a NASA engineer. Once my dad came out and heard me slide-hammering a broken drive axle out of my '57 Chevy and he said "You don't fix anything with a damned hammer. A NASA mechanic doesn't even have a hammer in his tool box." So, maybe it stuck. I like to be kind and gentle to machines and (like a good cop) only use the minimum amount of force necessary to get the result. I have often wondered whether the NASA mechanic would have ever gotten the 1957 Chevy back on the road.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    MOA 80364 | RA 29650 | ABC 3480 | IBA 8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  8. #8

    Thanks again!

    Thanks guys, nice pics. Lee, I've never heard of a "Blind Puller". Is that what's in the picture with the bearing on the end of it? I assume it goes in from the front and somehow grabs the back of the bearing to remove it?

    BioTechBill

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by biotechbill View Post
    Thanks guys, nice pics. Lee, I've never heard of a "Blind Puller". Is that what's in the picture with the bearing on the end of it? I assume it goes in from the front and somehow grabs the back of the bearing to remove it?

    BioTechBill
    That is it. To be a "blind" puller, it has to go in from the front. It has a split mandrel with lips on the lower edge that grip the race ID when a bolt is tightened in the center of the mandrel that spreads the diameter of it. Once tightened, you can withdraw the bearing (or race) using a threaded puller as shown or a slide hammer attachment (bad form at my house :-J )
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    MOA 80364 | RA 29650 | ABC 3480 | IBA 8914
    1976 R75/6 - 1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

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