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GmanVic 08-09-2012 12:56 PM

1997 R1100GS Driveline diagnose and repair

Okay, elsewhere in this wonderful forum, I have briefly documented that my R1100GS transmission went, so here's some info on the process I am following to repair. This is pretty "point form" right now, but given time, I will flesh it our later.

Started July 12 2012<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
- While accelerating somewhat hard onto the hiway, suddenly acceleration disappeared and revs soared. All I could get was a vague grinding sound.<o:p></o:p>
- I pulled over to discover I had “a box full of neutrals”<o:p></o:p>
- Got great travel advice from the towtruck driver, and some guys at the BMW dealer…<o:p></o:p>
- (So the only thing standing the way of my bike trip was the fact that I had no bike…So on Friday the 13<SUP>th</SUP>, I was lucky enough to find, and buy, a 2000 r1100rt from a super nice guy who took pity on my plight rather than soak me for it.)<o:p></o:p>
- After the trip, got the bike home (again with much kindness of friends with trucks and muscles)<o:p></o:p>
- Started to tear it down Aug 3<o:p></o:p>
- (Oh yeah, and put the RT up for sale. Can’t have two bikes right now and it looks like I will need some $ for repairing my beloved GS. See the Flea Market if you want to buy it, or PM me)<o:p></o:p>
- Got seats, bags, tanks, and battery off, soon stopped by stupid catalytic converter mounting screws. Add those to the list of things to buy.<o:p></o:p>
- Jammed and helped friends instead, so only about 2 hours total so far. (it’s a hobby ;-)<o:p></o:p>
- Focused a chunk of time Monday – managed to get most of the parts disconnected and the back wheel off and then realized I needed a 30mm socket and a 12mm Allen for the final drive pivot bolts. Delayed a day by that. Effort – about 4 hours.<o:p></o:p>
- Back into it Wednesday: with plenty of heat (the instructions call for a heat gun, but I used a propane torch – it’s what I have already). Did I mention PLENTY of heat? One instruction I read said “until spit sizzles off it fast”. I wasn’t quite that hot, but close. And yes, I was glad that I bought ˝ drive sockets for the 30mm and the 12mm hex!<o:p></o:p>
- We drank more beer.<o:p></o:p>
- Final drive seems fine (not sure how to test yet, actually)<o:p></o:p>
- Drive shaft looks fine.<o:p></o:p>
- I couldn’t fine 100mm bolts in the local Canadian Tire (it was open), only 60mm so that was the length of my mandrills. (That’s getting a bit personal, isn’t it? ;-) Still seemed to work just fine.<o:p></o:p>
- Struggled to get the trans out. The battery box was in the way, and I couldn’t seem to get the air box to either get out of the way or…<o:p></o:p>
- Finally removed the airbox completely, but the battery box was still a bugger.<o:p></o:p>
- Finally pried and coerced and swore enough to waggle the wires out of the way and remove the trans (It’s a boy!) TOTAL Time Spent (not counting shopping): 9 hours. Plus about 3 or 4 hours reading manuals and online posts.)
- I have a line on another M97, which is supposed to only have 32k on it, so that’s an option. I’m not that flush with cash right now (at least until I sell my RT)
<o:p></o:p>- The clutch disk spline is completely rounded out, but the trans is not as bad. Below are some pictures, hoping Anton Largiader and others experts will pipe in here with advice on whether I should replace the trans, rebuild it, or just replace the clutch and ride the thing.
- Next steps: gather information; decide action plan; order parts; put all back together; go riding.
Hmmm...these pictures looked clear last night. I will take more later and replace these.

Transmission front Spline
<o:p> </o:p>
<o:p>Clutch Spline: (pretty much rounded out - not a whole lot of "splinin" going on!)</o:p>
Rear Transmission Spline:

facetjoint 08-09-2012 07:44 PM

How many miles on the bike? IMHO The tranny input shaft is history! To try and stuff a new or good used clutch disc in the bike may get you through the season if you are real gentle and easy with it. But in reality it is like putting a new drive chain on old worn sprockets on a chain driven bike.

KShow 08-09-2012 07:59 PM

How many miles on the bike? Obviously the shaft is the harder metal. Judging by the picture on my phone, it looks useable. My opinion (and others will disagree) put a new clutch in it (check out thread about modifying a VW clutch) and make sure the splines slide smoothly without binding. Lube it up lightly with some moly(do the driveshaft splines while your at it),put it back together and ride it like normal. Then after a year or so when you have time and don't need the bike(winter), pull it back apart (much easier the second time), check for wear on the splines, clean, lube wash rinse repeat. If things look like they are heading south, prepare to rebuild the tranny/replace input shaft or watch for someone parting out a bike for a tranny swap. Id bet you could get several years out of out by just replacing the clutch.

That is what I would do based on the pictures/information presented. Others will chime in with ideas as well, listen to everyone and make the decision you are comfortable with. Then tell us about it:freaky

Good luck

GmanVic 08-09-2012 08:15 PM

Mileage and Clutches
Thank you KShow and facetjoint. The bike has about 70,000 miles on it.

I am now searching online for a clutch kit (I believe I will need the pressure plate and the disk, etc?). Though I am in Canada, buying the parts from the US is usually cheaper. My local dealer quoted $850 for the clutch replacement kit. Any suggestions as to where best to order?

Anybody familiar with RSR clutches? Looks pretty cool and tells a good story!

I also found a used clutch and pressure plate on fleabay, apparently from a 2000 R1100RS, listed as Stock# WB10416AXYZC60505. That might be a good match for a used trans, or if I put it back together with the existing worn trans (which I am leaning away from - it wasn't fun taking it apart, and I know it will be easier next time...but...):1drink

AntonLargiader 08-10-2012 04:02 AM

New input shaft. There's no sane alternative.

And then... either you just replace the clutch disk (if you determine that the other parts are good, which isn't obvious) or you replace EVERYTHING including the clutch housing.

Personally I wouldn't screw around with replacing just the disk at 88k miles, but so far I'm not spending your money. :)

This failure is pretty rare in the classic Oilheads; when it happens in the 1150s I replace everything including the housing just to eliminate as many potential causes as possible.

GmanVic 08-10-2012 08:14 AM

Thanks Anton; this information is very helpful. When you say "clutch housing", is that the piece that bolts to the flywheel?

I am now leaning towards the used transmission and the used clutch mentioned above, which will save me lots of money and provide, I think, a good-enough-for-this-old-bike solution. Comments?

GmanVic 08-10-2012 09:15 AM

Does anybody know if the clutch assembly mentioned above from a 2000 r1100rt is compatible with the M97 on my 1997 r1100gs? I was assuming so, but Beemer Boneyard lists a clutch assembly (out of stock) that "will fit up to the end of 1997"...

Thanks y'all! (I am feeling a bit like a taker not a giver on this site right now, but I plan to document the process and give back, too. :-) )

slartidbartfast 08-10-2012 10:10 AM


Originally Posted by GmanVic (Post 19328252)
Does anybody know if the clutch assembly mentioned above from a 2000 r1100rt is compatible with the M97 on my 1997 r1100gs? I was assuming so, but Beemer Boneyard lists a clutch assembly (out of stock) that "will fit up to the end of 1997"...

Thanks y'all! (I am feeling a bit like a taker not a giver on this site right now, but I plan to document the process and give back, too. :-) )

You'e started telling a good story, explained the problem, documented the action, included pics, etc. You are entertaining the armchair mechanics, providing evidence for the worry-bead merchants, and may well deliver some useful tidbits of information to the rest of us. You are also publicly grateful for the advice received and providing feedback on how it's working for you. I'd say that you are a giver. Keep up the good work and keep us informed of your progress :thumb

GmanVic 08-10-2012 01:47 PM

Thank you!

KShow 08-10-2012 02:17 PM

looking at the pictures on an actual full size computer screen.... the input shaft is worse than I initially thought (dang smartphones) Id lean a little more towards replacing the input shaft, or swapping the tranny. I dont think youve mentioned a budget for this project, but I would steer clear of buying a used clutch kit, Cheapest option would be a used friction disc. Better option would be new friction disc and your existing pressure plate (if its still good). Next would be buying transmission and clutch off a lower mile part out bike. Best and most espensive option would be like Anton says, rebuild transmission and complete new clutch. then you know its right. Buying used parts is always a gamble, usually it pays off, but sometimes you buy something that may only last a few thousand miles until your back along the side of the road looking at square one again.

As far as give and take, everyone contributes to this site, people with problems/questions give information to others who may be experiencing similar problems. Ive learned more from other peoples problems than my own, just from reading everyones ideas on how to solve them.

MIXR 08-10-2012 02:54 PM

Don't waste money by keeping the dud spline
If you were selling the bike and had no ethics, you would probably just throw a used clutch into it. I've been up to armpits in R1150 clutches and drivelines lately, and that male spline looks like toast. The wear is already there and it won't take much for it to start working on any new (or good used) female spline, which is the one that is usually sacrificial.

Don't do it, but I think you have already come to that conclusion. There is too much wear on the inboard end going by the photo. I thought it might have been light reflection, but on a good computer screen - Well, you know better than we do what it really looks like. I know a few guys have said not to go with second-hand clutches, but I think you can find legitimate reasons for people to have 'spares. I'm one of those guys and only replaced a good clutch because I was in there for a busted flywheel change. My old clutch is back in the bike it originally came from. I still have another 1/3 worn clutch in my spares kit.

Do the job properly and you will have confidence to ride the bike a long way from home. Take short-cuts and you will be nervous every time it leaves the shed. My 2 cents.

GmanVic 08-10-2012 03:58 PM

Thanks all. I really appreciate the frank feedback and encouragement.

Okay, fine gentleman who has M97 for me has sent me pictures of the splines. I am thinking this will be the way to go, along with a new clutch (when I figure out where best to buy one. :-)

And I beleive (from Anton's site) this is an M97 because it has the "E" in the serial number suffix (0033953EAC). Agreed? The seller says it was from a 1996 R1100.

Here are the photos of that candidate transmission:

AntonLargiader 08-10-2012 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by GmanVic (Post 19331184)
Here are the photos of that candidate transmission:

It sort of looks OK, but fer gawd sakes can't he clean the splines off so you can see what they look like?

GmanVic 08-11-2012 09:34 AM

Thanks Anton. :-)

I also received a PM from an inmate strongly suggesting I read up on U-joint failure and consider Bruno's machine shop. He also recommended that I reread Anton's site and even if I get a used trans I should open it an check the bearings.

All great advice (thank you!) but I have to admit I am feeling a bit of "head in the sand". I want to "just trust" that if I put in the used trans (I am told it has less that 30k on it) that it should "just work". And
My bike has only 70k miles on it and I bought a BMW because (dammit) they last forever.

Okay, so I know that last bit is not true, but my leaning here and now is to replace the trans with the $400 used m97, put in a new clutch, and ride it until a) it breaks again or b) I feel like doing a complete restoration one WINTER.

Yeah, I know there are a bunch of things I could and SHOULD do "while I'm in there"... But where is the dividing line between "must do" and "nice to do"?

This is why I have a bike (that's me and the (now) project bike on the left). And as my friend Jeff says (the one in the middle with the nice r75/5): "what makes it an adventure is what happens along the way." or something like that. :-)

Jim Moore 08-11-2012 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by GmanVic (Post 19335821)
Yeah, I know there are a bunch of things I could and SHOULD do "while I'm in there"... But where is the dividing line between "must do" and "nice to do"?

I wouldn't do anything else. I'd start shopping for a lightly-used driveshaft and throw it in the bike at 100K miles. Low mileage drive shafts may be getting hard to find for that model. You may need to save your pennies for a new one.

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