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Old 07-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
Bones_BIR OP
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1996 R1100GS Clutch install

I bought a 1996 R1100GS after recently returning from a deployment. it was advertised with having a new clutch and completely serviced. of course I took the man at his word and later found myself stuck in a parking lot 200 miles from my house.

I am new to the BMW thing, I have spent my adulthood wrenching on old British junk. so if I seem a little naive, oh well.

Symptoms:

Upon Failure I felt a crunching when I pulled in the clutch lever, reminding me of a failed cable. after that there was no clutch. It was engaged and I was along for the ride. I got it into a parking lot and got it stopped and shut down. found the cable to be fine and even when I ran out as much adjustment as I could get out of it, there was no disengaging the clutch.


Teardown:

Trailered it home and tore it apart. I found what I believe to be an improperly installed clutch pack. The Clutch Disc does not look at all like what is in the repair manual. there were washers set between the clutch housing and the tab springs on the inner housing.

Pics:





My Point to this post, Again I am new to these BMW's. maybe I am wrong, but I do not think this clutch is appropriate for this bike, hence it failed. I have been reading through the threads on clutches so the new clutch kit that I have order will go in without issue. I guess what I am trying to say is one can never bee too careful when they buy a used bike.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
Davis53
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VW clutch

From what I see that may be a clutch disk from a VW aircooled car. There is a thread about it. They used a solid disk clutch disk. The VW car disk is thicker, that is why they use shims.

180mm clutch disk BMW vs VW

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=551097
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Davis53 screwed with this post 07-13-2012 at 08:09 PM
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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Is that a ceramic clutch ? if so it has to have washers as spacers until it's bedded in after a 20k or so miles.

From your description the problem sounds like it could be the clutch thrust piston bearing failed, and eaten it's way into the thrust piston. - pretty common failure on an 1100.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:38 AM   #4
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I would just take those washers out.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
From your description the problem sounds like it could be the clutch thrust piston bearing failed, and eaten it's way into the thrust piston. - pretty common failure on an 1100.
+1, sounds just like my experience on my R1100RS years ago.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:08 AM   #6
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here are pics of the pushrod



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Old 07-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones_BIR View Post
here are pics of the pushrod



Need pictures of the clutch thrust piston -but the end of that pushrod has some burring on it, which is a sign that the thrust piston bearing maybe seized or collapsed in the piston..
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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Clutch Piston

does not appear seized



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Old 07-14-2012, 12:58 PM   #9
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The end of the pushrod says you have a problem in there.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #10
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I was thinking the same thing. new rod and piston just put on order.

I never wanted a hot rod BMW, as I have old British bikes for that. This one is going back to stock. I see no reason to leave this VW clutch in it.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #11
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You can probably sell that clutch disk; if it's one of the ceramic ones it's worth something. Is there a name on it?

If you're happy with the clutch engagement, keep it. For some people it's are OK, and for some it's too grabby. Just take the spacers out.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:35 AM   #12
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Going back to stock will eliminate the worry of potential clutch headaches, as long as you put it together properly. The VW clutch is just making something cheap work. The ceramic clutch is necessary only if you plan on really dragging / beating on the clutch. A stock clutch, driven properly, will last a long long time.

Looks like the rod and bearing definitely need replaced.

And, if Anton (above) says something- he is correct. He's the clutch / tranny specialist around BMW oilheads.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
You can probably sell that clutch disk; if it's one of the ceramic ones it's worth something. Is there a name on it?

If you're happy with the clutch engagement, keep it. For some people it's are OK, and for some it's too grabby. Just take the spacers out.
I'm with Anton here. Those splines look to be in good shape. How about the transmission input shaft splines? How about the thickness at the friction pucks?

If all is well and the clutch was not snatchy or grabby, I would wear this one out.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:29 AM   #14
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Just some more info....

Inasmuch as most of your bike wrenching is on Brit bikes (mine too… TR6es, Bonnies, BSAs, Nortons, Matchlesses…my GS just doesn’t require that much in the way of repairs), I thought I would add my two cents;

1- 1- The BMW GS clutch (Sachs) resembles the old air cooled VW clutch (Sachs) except, the BMW version is much more expensive and takes longer to replace.
2- 2- There is no throw out bearing support in the GS clutch design. Some owners find that they need to service the transmission input shaft and bearings as a result.
3- 3- The GS clutches often get contaminated if the transmission input shaft seal fails and the transmission oils the clutch friction surfaces.
4- 4- Recently, older (R1100 version) GS owners have experimented with using the VW clutch disc as a means of saving some money. They can be had for about $40.00. Some report that they believe the VW disk center splined hub is tougher than the BMW version and speculate the VW disk will last longer.
5- 5- Clutch/transmission input shaft splines need service from time to time especially if you ride the GS through water. Honda molypaste 60 is the popular grease for this application.

6- 6- While you’re in there, most would recommend an input shaft seal replacement as well as servicing or replacement of the Paralever pivot bearings.
7- 7- Also, removal and servicing of the starter is a simple job.















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Old 07-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for the info. I did not see any names on the old clutch, but I honestly did not look that hard. I'll check later and post it up. if anybody wants it, pay the postage and it is yours.

I replaced it with OEM parts from BMW and Bike Bandit. the job is done and it seems to be working. long test ride tomorrow. What irks me more than anything is that I just recently bought this thing and the guy I bought it from claimed that the clutch was replaced, but made no mentioned about it being a VW conversion.

Splines and seals all appeared in good nic, it could used some love on the rear brake though.

Pics:





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