Deep water crossing prep?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by TBob, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Tigrou

    Tigrou Been here awhile

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    we could maybe modify this thread as "show us your Deep water crossing pics" :deal
  2. TBob

    TBob Offroad Fab Guy

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    does anyone know where the transmission breather is located? All fluids looked good on my bike except the trans - nasty. Figure it must have come in through a breather vent.
  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    The R1100 doesn't have a transmission breather. I thought the R1200 didn't, either. My guess is... you have a bad seal somewhere.

    Good thing you changed it!
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    There's been a few "what's that smell" threads on here when the 1200 came out and it's the clutch when you slip it on a steep hill etc.. because we've been saying the clutch is vented to the atmosphere.. but I've not noticed where that breather is... maybe the two are the same :dunno

    :ear
  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Wait a second... you can actually see the clutch, so it's obviously vented. It's not just vented, it's out in the open! Maybe water gets in at the front of the transmission, above the mechanical stuff that runs from the clutch into the transmission. Maybe on some bikes the seals are pretty good, but on others, the seals aren't so good, and the only thing that holds the transmission fluid in is gravity.

    Maybe I was just lucky that water didn't get into my transmission.

    The oil stays in my motor by gravity. The oil filler cap closes, but it doesn't seal perfectly. That's where water got into my motor, and it's how the water vapor escaped. Some guys say I should get a better seal on my oil filler cap, but I kind of like letting the vapors escape. The only downside is the occasional splattering of oil on my left leg. Another upside is, the oil pressure won't blow other, more important seals.

    Try tipping your bike on it's side for a while. Does transmission fluid leak out? If so, then water can leak in.
  6. TBob

    TBob Offroad Fab Guy

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    Told my buddy that went through also to check his -
    I don't think it's a seal, if it was bad enough to let water in I would think it would be enough to let oil out. Bike only has 5k and no leaks. I think there must be a breather somewhere.

    a searched pulled up this
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=310225&page=2&highlight=transmission+breather

  7. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    From the thread you linked:

    So if you tip it on it's side, oil will come out- I was right! (My bike has been on its side many times, but I usually don't leave it like that for very long.)

    I'm going to run outside and wrip the transmission out of my bike and take a look at this alleged breather thingamaggigy.
  8. TBob

    TBob Offroad Fab Guy

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    Good deal gona tear into mine tonight.

  9. Wallowa

    Wallowa Diver Down

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    Perhaps we are comparing apples and oranges...are you describing a R12 or your '96 R1100GS ? T-Bob has an R12...I think an '09 GSA.

    I may find that I can see my clutch, but I have not yet seen it...where do I look for that view?

    My oil filler hole has an o-ring and seals very tight...no water in and no vapor out...

    My bike has spent lots of time "taking a rest" on it's side :wink: ...no trans lube noted...but I seem to remember that the trans does have a vent..will try to confirm that...not sure why it would have one...I have never had a car or motorcycle before that did have a vent..
  10. TBob

    TBob Offroad Fab Guy

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    Yes Phil I have an 09 GSA

  11. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    These bikes use a dry clutch. Very similar to what is in any car or truck. Most bikes run a wet clutch, which is the way to go for water crossing as its pretty much impossible to contaminate the discs with mud and water.
    Just remember to leave the clutch engaged while crossing.
  12. Wallowa

    Wallowa Diver Down

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    Yup I am keenly aware that I have dry clutch...especially when I absolutely have to slip it on a knarly rocky steep grade at walking speed and fully loaded..got to believe a wet clutch would be more durable off road.

    But where can you actually see the clutch as stated by BM?

    And please explain the "leave the clutch engaged while crossing" ..no doubt good advice but I can't visualize why...thanks..

    Ps..Way off topic..but checking Marinoni bikes..wow, top of the line stuff
  13. 1.Rider

    1.Rider Been here awhile

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    BTW BMW off road school Hechlingen Germany has for years told their students to keep the rpm up at about 3K, and slip the clutch as need during water crossings, to avoid stalling the bike mid stream and what could follow... (it is also said to help to minimize the risk of drowning the bike via the exhaust)

    so, :ear
  14. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    When a dry clutch gets partially or fully submerged in water/mud its a very good idea to leave it engaged until you are on the other bank and the clutch housing gets a chance to drain.
    If you pull the clutch into neutral and stop in mid crossing water and mud work their way into the space between the friction disc and the flywheel.
    I have seen trucks stuck in the water with a wet clutch. They go nowhere until we winch them out.
    Worse case scenario would have you removing the trans and pulling the clutch plate out to clean mud and grunge off of it. A friction disc with muddy water on it is not going to last very long. Again, been there done that.
    How water proof the trans housing is I have no idea. I do know that there are a lot of areas to leak. A quick crossing may leave little if any contamination in the housing. Getting stuck mid stream may fill it right up to the water line.
  15. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    Then BMW doesn’t care if you ruin a clutch.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    I guess a ceramic clutch is the answer if we can’t have a wet clutch.
  16. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    This is most likely due to lack of gearing. No off road school in the world would want a dry clutch to become wet. If you have enough gearing this isn't a problem.
    Slipping the clutch may not allow enough space to contaminate the disc. But I doubt it.
    Either way, if the bike is stuck in the water don't go pulling on the clutch lever. Just bang it into neutral without the clutch to push it out.
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    How to see your clutch: the starter motor is on the bike's left side. It's covered by a plastic cover. On my bike, the cover comes off with one simple screw.

    The starter fits snugly against the transmission housing, but it's not exactly sealed. Three bolts take it off quite easily. Or was it two bolts... anyway, right behind the starter, or more precisely, in front of the starter, is the fly wheel.

    It's very easy to see the flywheel once you take the starter off. I've never tried to look at it with the starter on, but I think that with the help of a small dentist's mirror (every toolkit should have one), you might be able to see the flywheel. With the starter off, you can just look at the flywheel. If your starter is making noise after going through water (the starter isn't protected from water AT ALL), you can easily take it off and look at it. It's easy to test, too- just a couple of wires to the leads and WHIRRRR!!! goes a good starter. When the starter is engaged, the little gear comes flying out, and it spins super fast (and strong!) against the flywheel, which is how the engine turns over and (hopefully!) starts. (As soon as you disengage the starter, the little gear stops spinning and slams back into place, safely away from the flywheel.) There are threads on starter maintenance, repair, and replacement.

    Like I said, if the starter makes noise, you'll also want to inspect the flywheel. If you accidentally try to start the motor while it's hydro-locked, there's a good chance you'll do something bad to the starter and/or flywheel. It's easy to inspect the flywheel- manually shift the bike into top gear, lift the rear wheel off the ground, and gently turn it. As it turns, the flywheel will turn. If you need to, go ahead and make a chalk mark on one of the teeth, and then you'll know when you've done a complete flywheel revolution. (If you try to start the motor while it's hydro-locked, you'll be lucky if all you do is break your flywheel. The worst case scenario is breaking a piston and/or bending a piston and scoring the inside of the cylinder. But maybe you wanted to have your cylinders bored out anyway?)

    The clutch is basically bolted to the flywheel, and you can see it next to the flywheel. Again, a flashlight and a dentist's mirror makes it easier.

    You don't want to be shifting or releasing the clutch once the clutch is submerged because it WILL get wet. It might still work, but there's going to be stuff in the water, and then stuff between the friction plate and the clutch. It'll depend on how gross the water is. You probably won't wear it out if it gets wet, it just won't grip as well (clutch). If it spins, it'll get hot, and the water will rapidly evaporate. Crud and stuff (sand, the bits of clay in red muddy water) won't boil off. This will be bad. This is one of the reasons I elected to change my clutch once I'd cracked the bike to change the broken flywheel.

    If you get a ceramic clutch, it'll hold up better. I plan on getting one before I ride Africa (if I ride Africa), but I'm not worried about it for riding trans-Europe to Vladivostok (the ride Lucio and I are planning for next summer). I think the R1150 ceramic clutch (or is that the R1200?) comes with spacers that need to be removed after a certain interval- spacers that you just reach in and grab onto.

    So if you want to see your clutch, in about 5 minutes you can have your starter off. I think I've taken my starter off, and put it back on again, in less that 20 minutes.

  18. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    Yup. Next best thing. The ceramic disc can get wet, be heated and dry out.
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    More details about repairing my bike in Panama start with post 251 of the ride report in my sig line, "2nd 15,000 miles."
  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Bananaman has it right. The clutch is not totally open to contamination, but it is not sealed either. If you park in water half way up the trans, you clutch will be wet in short order. Most wont do that.

    Even if it does get wet it is not that big of a deal. very little mud will get in, and what little does wont do much damage so long as you don't do it that often.

    Water wont hurt a clutch any more than it does brake shoes. They basically work the same way.

    All this is, like everyone else here, IMHO.

    Jim :brow