NHSTA Opens Investigation into BMW Final Drive Failures

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by rdcyclist, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    I'm seeing a fairly even split in failures, internal vs. external.

    The first few that I saw (years ago) were generally loose wheel splines. Haven't seen one of them in a while, though. When they went away, all that was left was worn pinion bearings. Sometimes this would heavily contaminate the oil. Then the big bearing failures started.

    Currently I have three in the shop: one with a bad (dry) big bearing, one that had a bad big bearing and is back because the new bearing spun on the axle F800-style, and one I think is a worn pinion.

    My personal opinion is that the pinion bearings wear due to improper setup. Oil changes may prolong the deterioration, but won't stop it. And of course the big bearing failures can't be traced to the oil in any way that I can see.

    The big bearing is pretty well protected from direct spray, but it'll get wet. I don't dismiss Ron's comments at all.
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Somehow sarcasm seems to go right over your head, doesn't it?

    As for a failure, there are plenty, but a seal is not a final drive! It is a seal.

    Jim :brow

    PS If you can find a single post where I ever claimed to be any kind of "guru" I will personally send you $100!
  3. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Sir,
    Based on your experience, could you be so bold as to offer a "gut feeling" failure rate?

    [TaSK]
  4. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    No, I couldn't begin to. I think a lot of EVO FDs were dealt with under goodwill, so no one saw those numbers.
  5. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    If Anton can't give an idea, how are we ever going to really know?

    Maybe someone from Max or Penske group.

    I don't know. Seems utterly hopeless since no manufacturer even hint at numbers.
  6. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    There are people out there (most, but not all, working in dealerships) who surely fix far more of them than I do.
  7. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    Notice the "S" in NHTSA? (That's the correct acronym, i.e. national highway transportation safety admin)

    It's for "safety."

    There are two and ONLY TWO reasons the USA Federal government will force a recall

    1. An emissions issue
    2. A safety issue.

    NHTSA needs evidence of crashes and even injuries as a result of the defined problem. They will evaluate whether a problem poses a safety threat. It's patently ridiculous to think they would mandate a drain plug. They do not protect you if you've bought a lemon.

    Whether "my seal is leaking" or "I found a puddle of oil in my garage" constitutes a safety problem is something NHTSA will decide. Maybe they will go back and recall all the Airheads where the final drive vent puked a little (ha ha).

    As I understand it, the DIY culture in Germany is a small percentage of auto/bike owners, i.e. nothing compared to the USA. Most take their vehicles to professionals for service. German manufacturers certainly do not extensively design their products for ease of DIY. They do on occasion simply find it the path of least resistance to give in to the enormity of the genius of Americans as regards changing oil and modify their recommendations for the USA market. After all, we have Castrol ads showing babies in diapers lying under a car with dad learning to change oil.
  8. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

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    I'd say it's about the same percentage as here, trending downwards with the newer generations (of both owners and vehicles). DIY maintenance was probably always higher for bikes than for cars.
  9. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    My final drive is blown, so it wasn't just the seal that went bad. The seal blowing and coating the entire back of the bike and tire was just icing on the cake. Estimated cost $2200.00. Replacement drive not in stock, it's already been 2.5 weeks, looks like at least 1.5 more. No word from Motorrad if they're going to warranty it yet.

    If this isn't picked up by Motorrad, I'd expect to be rid of the pig within 90 days and this will be the last BMW product I buy. I was thinking about getting another Z4. We'll see.

    :1drink
  10. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

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    Never seen the ad...you mean babies teach their dad how to change oil?? :lol3
  11. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    And use computers.

    <BR>
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Sadly true for some!:lol3

    Jim :brow
  13. GP1200

    GP1200 Been here awhile

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    You think if you buy their Z4 car you'll have less headaches ? I sold my last BMW car three years ago and will never,ever buy another one. They have one of the worst electronic device reliability track record of any high end car out there, and few people know that. Watch any review on Top Gear and you'll see. Each component starts at $ 2000 plus labor. Only the Land Rover is more punishment. The pain of owning the GS pales in comparison. Don't do it man :lol3
  14. Gruesome

    Gruesome Alter Heizer

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    Motorrad is a German bike magazine.
  15. Bill-66

    Bill-66 The End of the Republic is upon us... Supporter

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  16. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    It's a shame isn't it? Their Product Marketing Deptartment has done a fantastic job identifying niche products - in some cases creating new ones.

    Only to have the brand reputation get ruined due to substandard Engineering and Manufacturing.

    Ironically the two things that literally define the "German mystique".

    :cry:huh
  17. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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  18. Bill-66

    Bill-66 The End of the Republic is upon us... Supporter

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    Less than 500 posts..from Chickago..and gettin' all up in our grillz..da fug?

    Better be some beer..n bacon sammichs dammit..

    :lol3

    :freaky
  19. GSNH

    GSNH Adventurer

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    Are you talking about the current version of Top Gear UK? Top Gear almost never mentions reliability/parts cost/labor cost of anything they review.

    The closest they get to bashing BMW is to complain about the effect of the weight of the BMW diesel engine on handling, how ugly the rear end of last generation sedans is, or how complicated iDrive was. The M3 is a perennial favorite.

    As far as Land Rover go, regardless of the stories, which everyone tell (I have a 1997 that has had exactly one electrical fault since new), the Range Rover is also, always, a Top Gear favorite.

    If you're going to get third-party ammo to bash BMW here, at least make sure the ammo is dry.
  20. Bill-66

    Bill-66 The End of the Republic is upon us... Supporter

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    I prepped Rovers for off road for years..designed, fabricated and sent parts all over the world..years ago our company built the best suspension for a D-90 as written up by 4Wheel and Off Road..we also helped build up a D-90 for an ex Camel Trophy competitor who goes around instructing now..

    You must have gotten the two decent ones they ever built..the Series 1 Discos were neat..get stuck going up a hill..put it in reverse, the brakes release hurtling you backwards downhill...awesome..

    The Camel Trophy guy did it in the Disco..first year..they flew transmissions in by the pallet...:lol3

    The Freelander actually comes with a tow truck I think..:lol3


    I ride a BMW bike so I understand..but no..they are the worst 4X4 By Far...