NHSTA Opens Investigation into BMW Final Drive Failures

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

  1. GSNH

    GSNH Adventurer

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    Safari Gard? Rovertyme?

    I don't think I said anything about Rover quality other than that I had a '97 with one electrical fault and that the RR is a TG Favorite.

    They are notoriously unreliable in many respects, yes. Some day all first gen Disco's will have rotted out of existence b/c the panels are so difficult to replace. But, in their heyday, off the showroom floor, nothing short of a G-Wagen could touch them from road to trail.

    IIRC, their are 8 man-made things that can be seen from space orbit: The Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramids of Egypt,....and the Panel Gaps in a first generation Range Rover.
  2. Bill-66

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

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    We competed against Safarigard...is he still doing anything?

    I sold my chunk of the business..years ago...

    He still does a little..but has gotten into the rock racing.


    I'd do a 110 diesel..if you swapped out all the running gear..we built a right hand drive out of parts. Gray market stuff
  3. Burninator

    Burninator Zed's dead

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    Earlier in this thread I remember reading that final drive failures are much more rare in pre-2000 BMW bikes. Is this true? I'd love to own an R850, 1100, 1150, or 1200r, but which would be most reliable? Would I be better off with a pre-2000 R1100R, or R850R? I'm posting this question here, as there seams to be several people very familiar with final drive issues with these bikes following this thread.:freaky
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    No. I had one fail twice on a 99GS.

    Jim :brow
  5. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    Nice to see you back from your 'German Holiday.'

    Please let us know the minute you pass your GS back to the dealer.
  6. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    I'm actually still on my German holiday unfortunately. The bike is still in the shop with the blown final drive, still no word at all on when or if BMW will be shipping the replacement unit, and still no word on whether or not this will be covered under warranty.

    So there goes essentially the entire riding month of August, and now we are into September. The snow will be flying soon - from the look of it, about the same time BMW finally catches up with the back orders on replacement final drives. :cry
  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    urrr ... BMW already has come up with a shaft final drive that is dead reliable and typically last life of bike.

    the original R80G/S monolever ... pretty much everything ran in an oil bath. IMHO too good for BMW with almost no revenue coming from final drive sales.

    call me skeptical .. but those German engineers are not stupid in the least. final drives after G/S were designed to fail. mfg prefers that major components last just pass warranty period... then fail, generating $$$ for BMW.

    don't believe me .. Mercedes started this trend back in the 70's by splitting production numbers to make it harder for aftermarket to compete. in the late 70's, early 80's mfg started to leave off grease zerts in all ball joints and tie rod ends.

    this tactic was carried over to wheel bearings .. where a wheel bear used to be serviceable, now only come as entire wheel bearing/hub assembly with no way to lube. instead of getting wacked for say $30 for wheel bearings, now you get wacked for say $250+ for a hub at dealer. 120 for an aftermarket hub.

    looks like same for R1200GS .. only bill is $2,000+ ...

    the same thing for u-joints with no way to service... vehicle mfg don't want those ujoints to be serviceable. they want to sell you the entire driveshaft.

    think this was done by accident? well think again... those engineers are not stupid in the least. ALL parts are designed with a finite life. preferably to last past warranty period before breaking of course...
  8. Bill-66

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

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    :stupid
  9. Coma

    Coma Long timer

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    FWIW, the beef is with management. Engineers just do what they're are told. As you note it's a money decision. Quality is a management decision, too.
  10. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    I meant YOUR German Holiday-- the ban you received.

    Good luck on getting your bike back together. I'm sure you won't be able to trade it soon enough.
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    totally agree .. management tells engineers exactly what design objectives are. then engineers figure out how to achieve those goals.

    a perfect example is late model Ford trucks and their seemingly stupid design requiring removal of entire front clip for relatively minor engine repairs.

    if you've got a four post heavy duty truck lift like a dealership .. then no problems lifting body off truck to expose engine for repairs. same for having to drop fuel tank to replace fuel pumps.

    if you don't have access to heavy equipment then a job that dealership can do in say 3-4 hours .. might take you 12+ hours. never mind that if you had normal access that same job would be a 1-2 hour job.

    if you think Ford royally screwed up with their stupid design requiring front end removal .. think again .. why is it that Ford is the only car mfg that remain profitable when their counterparts required taxpayer bailout funds and their onerous terms?

    problems with Ford 6.0 diesel motors are legendary, so Ford comes out with 6.4 diesel with yet more problems. what counts is folks keep buying Ford trucks .. diesel engines breaking down accelerates need for a new diesel truck. on top of generating very expensive repair bills keeping their dealerships profitable. so Ford can sell more very profitable replacement engines and/or parts.

    or better yet sell that Ford truck owner a new 6.7 diesel truck .. not much question Ford has made the most unreliable diesel trucks for a decade. yet until recently they were the only profitable American car company. Ford management has been laughing all the way to the bank about their stupid designs for sometime.
  12. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    The 6.0 and 6.4 diesels were built by international. Do you really think Ford made any money on those power plants after all the warranty work they performed? I doubt it. But like BMW issues, you and I will never know those numbers. Those engines had and still have a 100k mile warranty. Back to BMW issues. I own both a Ford and a BMW.:lol3
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    why yes .. yes I do believe Ford made $$$ from selling massively expensive replacement engines/parts. same for dealers who made $$$$ servicing all those diesel failures. not all those 6.0/6.4 failure happened under warranty. For Ford all those 6.0/6.4 that's out of warranty is the Christmas that never ends ...

    same for all the BMW final drive failures .. don't think for a minute when $2k+ is getting charged to customer .. someone is not making $$$.

    when too many final drive fails under warranty and BMW is footing the bill. it's a $$$ driven determination if design is still a success.

    doesn't some R1200GS owners sell their bikes when getting close to warranty ending. then purchase a new R1200GS. betcha BMW likes that ...
  14. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    You fellows cannot have worked for a major auto company for any time with these crazy, Byzantine theories.

    There is a fucking maelstrom of demands from Engineering, Marketing, R and D, and Finance-- the last thing anyone is thinking is 'if we build it like this we can make more money.'

    Marketing is saying 'it has to be lighter, more power, carry this much fuel, meet these expectations or we'll never be able to sell it. Make it happen.'

    Finance says, 'We can only sell it for this much. We need to make this much profit. We have people we need to keep happy. Make it happen'

    Engineering says, 'We can't make it lighter and more powerful for under this amount. Find another place to cut money. Make it happen.'

    And R and D says, 'Try this new design. Works great in the lab. It'll be cheaper and lighter and easier to build. Make it happen.'




    And from thousands of emails and meetings and arguments everyone does the best they can to make everyone happy, all the while being arse raped in meetings when things go sideways. "we TOLD them, I have an email...."

    That's how silly shit happens. If you think during all this they have time to say, "if we make this one piece we can take more cash in spares" and make that the driving force behind ideas you are, in a word, both poorly informed and a little silly.
  15. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    horseshit!! you are talking on the ground level on what it takes to make it happen. talk about being incredibly short slighted.

    what I'm referring to is strategic maneuvers to stay in business. a global view if you will..
    do you actually think management is going to explain why they make certain choices?

    for instance .. plain ole wheel bearings .. lowest cost per unit is to use generic wheel bearings with serviceable components. but that would allow immediate repair by the aftermarket folks.

    engineering understands quite well if wheel bearings are bath in oil, bearing will last life of vehicle. that will not do .. they want failure after a reasonable time span.

    so now we get an integrated hub assembly with sealed bearings, designed to prevent refreshing of grease. on top of labor to replace hub assembly for another 3-4 hours labor. when grease goes dry... metal to metal.. with bearing destroying itself shortly afterwards. to fix now takes a trip to dealership for say $300 + $400 labor.. instead of generic wheel bearing cost of $20 + $75 labor. do you actually think folks would pay $300 + $400 labor for a single wheel bearing if they had a choice?

    dealership would have no hope of retaining business if customer had a choice. strategy is produce components just to be different to increase parts/labor costs and decrease component life to speed up sales cycle. And to prevent competitors from getting equal access for max time possible.

    do you actually think it's by accident .. Ford with the worst reliability and most expensive to repair diesel trucks .. is also the most profitable of all American auto mfg?
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Sorry Cy, I'm with Bobby on this one. Your ideas are a bit too tin hat for me.:deal

    Jim :brow
  17. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    that's why some folks are engineers and others are management...
    entrepreneurs has to wear multiple hats if they want to survive long term...

    by the way I can give documented proof on progression of parts changes by whom, on what parts, when and by which mfg. sorry but just didn't pull this out of my ass...

    break out the tin foil hats for all ... :norton
  18. spartanman

    spartanman regret minimizer

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    In a word, compromise. :1drink
  19. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    That isn't ground level, sir. That's GM/Chrysler/Ford World HQ.

    Sorry. Those aren't directors struggling with that and buggering each other in these fights, those are VPs.

    There isn't anyone higher aside from the officers, and if you think they're down there suggesting bearings you've gone loopy.

    Apology accepted. It makes for a nice conspiracy theory, though and I don't mean to ruin that for you.
  20. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    Exactly, at the it ends up being a compromise born through an extremely uncomfortable process.


    Here's a meeting I can share with you. Daimler/Chrysler.

    We need this sedan to be AWD. And it has to sell for XX and be on the line by XX. Got it, engineering?

    Next meeting

    Okay we have it. Here are the specs, but it will cost XX more than your figures and take XX longer.

    "Well, this is disappointing. I think we'll pick this up another time," and they all marched out.

    The engineers were shitting themselves.

    A SCATHING onslaught of emails and letters. Insulting. Unreasonable. Blindsided. Okay Engineering, have another go. Try not to make your marketing guys puke blood.

    Okay, we got it. We can make it for XX and cut the time to XX using this structure.

    Marketing: this car is 3.5" higher ride height than the 2WD? Unacceptable.

    Eng: That's the only way to make that sedan AWD.

    Market: Why are you continually trying to sink this project? The VW Passat went AWD and only increased ride height by 1.5 inches.

    Eng: they don't use the same AWD as Daimler/Chrysler.

    Marketing. (and this is the ONLY direct quote I'll give you from this meeting and keep in mind it was a very attractive, very smart woman with an Ivy league business degree and a very good engineering degree)

    "Then you will take apart a Passat and, like monkeys, you will reverse it to fit our sedan"

    The silence was atomically heavy.

    The end result of this exchange was a memo saying, "we're not prepared to make the engineering compromises that VW made it produce such a low ride height."

    That's where I lost the trail. But if you think someone in that mix was thinking, "man, if we make it out of this or use that material we can make a fortune in spare sales" you probably think 9.11 was an inside job.