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Old 01-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
Johnny Locks OP
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R100GS Drive Shaft

Hi all,
I've been lurking and reading this site a lot. I've read every thread relevant to my bike, and 100's that were tangentially related, and 100's more just for fun. Anyway, I acquired a '92 R100GS back in April. At the time it had 88K miles on it. It was clearly not fawned over, but also seemed like reasonable care had been taken of it and everything worked. It came with some service history, but a lot was missing, so I really don't know everything that's been done to it. There was something from a BMW dealer in the history that just said "warranty drive shaft." So I guess it's likely that the shaft was replaced at about 23,000 miles. I had read about the drive shaft issues and transmission cir clip dealio, and hoped everything would hold out for me for the riding season and that I would look at the drive shaft in the winter.

I put 7,000 miles on it over the summer, it's now at 95K and I'm holding the driveshaft in my hands. Having no experience with what the u-joints should feel like, it's a little hard to judge the condition, but one axis of the upper joint feels real tight. Feels to me like it isn't right. Certainly feels different than the one on the other end, that one seems real good. What say you? Should I just have it rebuilt? Anyone near Minneapolis that could give it a look?
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 PM   #2
Mark Manley
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I would certainly get it looked at, a friend of mine had one break on him and it locked the rear wheel at 70 mph almost causing an accident. I cannot recommed anybody in the US to get it rebuilt but had mine done by Motorworks in the UK and it has done 10,000 miles since then, I will take it out soon and see how it is doing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:31 AM   #3
Paul_Rochdale
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Jim

50,000 miles seems to be the often mentioned useful mileage for the paralever drive shaft on a GS, and there are various places who modify them so they either last longer or are at least repairable, Motorworks being one of them. Have a 'Search' as there's lots about them in there.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #4
Airhead Wrangler
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I just replaced a torn swingarm boot and had a look at the shaft while I was in there. All the black grease seemed to have come out of the u-joints, but everything was VERY tight and smooth. Zero slop whatsoever at an indicated 26,000 miles. The joints were still tight enough that they wouldn't flop side to side under their own weight. They had to be moved by hand. Do the paralever shafts tend to die very quickly as soon as they develop any play or is a it a relatively gradual decline with a steady increase in the amount of play in them?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #5
Mark Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Do the paralever shafts tend to die very quickly as soon as they develop any play or is a it a relatively gradual decline with a steady increase in the amount of play in them?
My first one went suddenly at 47,000 miles, I was rolling it down my drive and heard a clunking sound, investigated and it was on the verge of breaking, I think a good fist full of throttle would have broken it.
The second one developed some play at around 148,000 miles and I kept a careful eye on it until 150,000 when it was removed and rebuilt.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
My first one went suddenly at 47,000 miles, I was rolling it down my drive and heard a clunking sound, investigated and it was on the verge of breaking,
How long before it's failure had you inspected it and found no play?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
Johnny Locks OP
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Yeah, Rebuild

Yeah, I've decided to have it rebuilt. I'll send it off to Hendersen Precision shortly. Now I have to figure out what to do with the transmission. It works just fine, and the oil always looks pretty clean when I change it. But when I pulled the swing arm off I saw it had quite a bit of oil in it, and saw that the transmission output shaft seal was leaking. It also looks like it might be leaking from the neutral indicator switch, if that's possible. I don't have a lot of money, so if I can fix those leaks without dropping a grand or whatever a rebuild will cost maybe I will do that. But then I also hear a lot of alarmist talk about missing cir clips, etc... And there is quite a a few miles on it, so maybe a rebuild should be done. How hard is it to replace that output shaft seal?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
Prutser
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Drive shaft

This picture was sent to me today. Its from a re-buildable (Taiwanese) driveshaft....!
Some friends of mine are riding from Alaska to Patagonia on their R100 and 80 GS
But the shaft didn't make it the whole way It has had its regular service.

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
Mark Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
How long before it's failure had you inspected it and found no play?
I had never taken it out by then but had probably checked it at the 45,000 mile service.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
Mark Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disco jim View Post
Yeah, I've decided to have it rebuilt. I'll send it off to Hendersen Precision shortly. Now I have to figure out what to do with the transmission. It works just fine, and the oil always looks pretty clean when I change it. But when I pulled the swing arm off I saw it had quite a bit of oil in it, and saw that the transmission output shaft seal was leaking. It also looks like it might be leaking from the neutral indicator switch, if that's possible. I don't have a lot of money, so if I can fix those leaks without dropping a grand or whatever a rebuild will cost maybe I will do that. But then I also hear a lot of alarmist talk about missing cir clips, etc... And there is quite a a few miles on it, so maybe a rebuild should be done. How hard is it to replace that output shaft seal?
Mine leaked some oil into the swinging arm a few years ago but it seemed to cure itself after a short time and has not leaked since. If you are short of funds try a new washer on the neutral switch and carry on with it, just keep an eye on the oil level and see how it goes, some oil in the swinging arm will do no harm.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:40 AM   #11
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prutser View Post
This picture was sent to me today. Its from a re-buildable (Taiwanese) driveshaft....!
Some friends of mine are riding from Alaska to Patagonia on their R100 and 80 GS
But the shaft didn't make it the whole way It has had its regular service.


How many km did it take to do that?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
Prutser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
How many km did it take to do that?
From Alaska to Patagonia. Don't know how many km's they drove so far.
I know it has been serviced twice this trip.

Doesn't look promising
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #13
bmwblake
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which rebuildable shaft is this? i'm hoping it's not the one that is being sold by a couple of different folks as a rebuildable unit.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
Prutser
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This is the one !

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Do the paralever shafts tend to die very quickly as soon as they develop any play or is a it a relatively gradual decline with a steady increase in the amount of play in them?
inside of 500 miles is my experience.

DAmn shame about that shaft up there ^. Not the expected fail point.
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