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Old 09-02-2007, 07:30 AM   #361
Wallowa
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Bluhduh Cause of Failure Question Not Answered..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
The root cause is usually an antenna ring that has gone bad. Keep in mind that this ring is used on all new BMW bikes, the F800xx, all R and K bikes. The failure rate is unknown, but I'd guess it's less than 1%.

In your case with 2700 miles, I'd stay you're still within the probability of an antenna ring failure. If I were to go riding in remote areas, I'd spend $130 and get a spare one, if my bike had low miles. I would also drill out the 1 way screws to facilitate the plug and play aspect of plugging in the replacement ring, which does not have to be mounted, just placed around the key hole, leaving the defective and disconnected one in place.
NBeener's question was not answered...what is the exact cause of the malfunction.."antenna failure" is the effect not the cause...symptom, not disease..

So what exactly "breaks" and, most importantly to find a cure, WHY.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:44 AM   #362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa
NBeener's question was not answered...what is the exact cause of the malfunction.."antenna failure" is the effect not the cause...symptom, not disease..

So what exactly "breaks" and, most importantly to find a cure, WHY.
The ring antenna "breaks".. that's what breaks.. something in the antenna stops working.. it's like when the tv remote control stops working.. something on the circuit board electronics stops working leading the tv remote to stop working..I've never taken an antenna apart to see what's inside it, but I'm sure there's a some sort of chipset or other electronics parts. Why does it fail? Why does any electronic part fail?

the antenna failure is the cause of the EWS problem, not the effect.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:08 AM   #363
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Why?

From seeing other similar types of devices I would guess the problem is the antennae is encapsulated in a plastic that if it flexes it breaks the antennae winding.
No antennae, no recognition of key.
The problem 'could' be as simple as over torqueing the module on assy. or tie wrapping the lead so tight it causes strain on the module.
Or sitting in the sun getting toasty hot then hitting a rain shower and contracting fast.
the point is it should not happen and if it does there should be some way to take a perfectly functional bike and get it running again. Especially on a bike that is touted as being the quintisential go anywhere machine.

I agree that a simple ring of copper, right impedence and a plug should solve the issue at substantially less than 122.00 US!
Hope someone can come up with it.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:11 AM   #364
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We're hoping someone will be able to write a program to bypass the immobilizer all together and disable it permanently, like someone has done for BMW cars.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:37 AM   #365
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Because this is a recurring issue in my work world, a quick question. How many keys are available for new bikes ? I replace many more keys than than other drive authorization components in cars. Benz made a "design error" in early ML SUV. Only eight keys were available on one key track. Who would need more than eight keys right ? Well it happens a lot now that these SUV's
are nine years old. So The poor guy buys a used ML, gets towed in for no start, I hook up, yep bad key, oh no your ML has eaten eight keys through its life. Now a lock set, engine module, AAM module, Couple of grand in parts. Benz has fixed this since 2000. I just wonder what BMW has done.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:45 AM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineareagle
From seeing other similar types of devices I would guess the problem is the antennae is encapsulated in a plastic that if it flexes it breaks the antennae winding.
No antennae, no recognition of key.
The problem 'could' be as simple as over torqueing the module on assy. or tie wrapping the lead so tight it causes strain on the module.
Or sitting in the sun getting toasty hot then hitting a rain shower and contracting fast.
the point is it should not happen and if it does there should be some way to take a perfectly functional bike and get it running again. Especially on a bike that is touted as being the quintisential go anywhere machine.

I agree that a simple ring of copper, right impedence and a plug should solve the issue at substantially less than 122.00 US!
Hope someone can come up with it.
The process is the module "spanks" (tech term ) the key with a pulse, then reads the chip response. If you look at the picture back in this thread there is a electronics package, not just a "ring of copper" in the part. I agree that this is silly on a bike, how many bikes are stolen by driving them away??
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:57 AM   #367
Wallowa
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Agreed..Should Identify the Cause

Quote:
Originally Posted by lineareagle
From seeing other similar types of devices I would guess the problem is the antennae is encapsulated in a plastic that if it flexes it breaks the antennae winding.
No antennae, no recognition of key.
The problem 'could' be as simple as over torqueing the module on assy. or tie wrapping the lead so tight it causes strain on the module.
Or sitting in the sun getting toasty hot then hitting a rain shower and contracting fast.
the point is it should not happen and if it does there should be some way to take a perfectly functional bike and get it running again. Especially on a bike that is touted as being the quintisential go anywhere machine.

I agree that a simple ring of copper, right impedence and a plug should solve the issue at substantially less than 122.00 US!
Hope someone can come up with it.
Yup...talked to BMW dealer yesterday...he had never heard of this problem! And he said BMW [old news] tends to often deny that a problem exists until they are damn good and ready to take it on...or are forced to face it..

I do disagree that the antenna is the "cause"....the antenna is not the cause, what disables the antenna is the cause..broken windings or WTF other issues it has causes it to fail...kinda of like say my engine quit and that was the cause of the bike stopping...no, the lack of adequate lubrication to the rod bearing, cause the rod to blow out the side of the case and THAT stopped the bike..

Something in the antenna/coded key has a failed component...that is the cause..whether it is inferior materials, incorrecting installation or an inferior design...

Good grief BMW MUST be aware of this and to stone-wall it destroys trust in the company and it's products...what a load this is...
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:14 AM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa
Good grief BMW MUST be aware of this and to stone-wall it destroys trust in the company and it's products...what a load this is...
The sky is falling... the sky is falling!! If it's man made, it's bound to break.. how often does the EWS ring break? Can anyone answer this? I was at the Canadian Thunder race series, and talked to the tech who services the R1200S factory team bikes. They've had zero problems with the EWS ring antenna or keys.

Chris Pfeiffer's F800 stunt bikes have them, and his bikes are severely abused.. I've asked him and he's had no EWS troubles.

According to my dealer, he's had 4 incidents of EWS failures, 3 were the ring antenna and 1 was caused by a bad key, and in the case of the latter, the key worked intermittently. There are 12 keys available for each bike.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:32 AM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
There are 12 keys available for each bike.
I was told 10.

Can anybody confirm ... or give yet another number

Both numbers sound ample, but I tend to agree that -- this bike may be with me for a dozen or so years. Who knows....

I would be curious, Gadget Boy -- and not trying to be argumentative -- about what, exactly, does happen inside when a failure occurs, and why they're MORE likely to fail SOONER than LATER. That last one seems pretty important to me in diagnosing the issue.

I think the post about dramatic temp changes or the polymer/? encapsulation for damping and waterproofing are good ones and are trying to get to the same thing that I am.

I think the over-torque notion may make even more sense given the "happens quickly" info.

If BMW were to issue, say, a tech bulletin that DID indicate it was an over-torque-on-assembly prob, then many of us could do a two minute, zero dollar fix that would avoid this problem (and unnecessary drillouts) down the road (or no road.....).

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:04 PM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBeener

I think the post about dramatic temp changes or the polymer/? encapsulation for damping and waterproofing are good ones and are trying to get to the same thing that I am.

I think the over-torque notion may make even more sense given the "happens quickly" info.
I can attest to the "happens quickly" at least for me. I am currently bikeless as it happenerd yesterday (bought the bike Friday) 160 miles. I am praying that when the dealer gets it Tuesday that it can be fixed quickly. It's a bummer having a brand new bike and NOTHING to ride. My LT is apart right now for another problem so I gots nuttin'.

Bike hasn't been in the rain or any foul weather (yet), and no drastic temp changes except those that occur on the bike naturally.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:26 PM   #371
NBeener
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Bluridger:

That sucks.

Do me (us) a favor, will ya? If the antenna ring IS determined to be the culprit in your case, press the guys at the shop for as much info as they can possibly give you.

Maybe even mention that you're hearing about something like 1 in 100 failures, and how--clearly--it's a showstopper. There ought to be a way to bark this one up the food chain and get either a fix or a more comprehensive answer that can offer us a shot at prevention.

Sorry it happened. Guess I'm glad I didn't know about THIS one BEFORE I left for last week's 2,000 miler ... with 700 as the starting mileage.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:03 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBeener
I would be curious, Gadget Boy -- and not trying to be argumentative -- about what, exactly, does happen inside when a failure occurs, and why they're MORE likely to fail SOONER than LATER. That last one seems pretty important to me in diagnosing the issue.
As far as the number of keys, it may be 10.. I thought it was 12, but 10 sounds right too...

If all that's inside the ring antenna is a coil of copper wire and nothing else but a terminating connector, I don't see how the copper coil can fail. What actually fails in the antenna is what we'd like to know, but the techs won't have much of a clue either, or the time to think about it.. they get a diagnosis, replace the part and move on to the next thing. And the one person that I know who's had this happen to him, his bike had about 2300 km (about 1300 miles).

If only someone with a defective part could remove the plastic cover and see what's in it..

In so far as the breaking sooner rather than later, it's simply anecdotal on my part so it may not be accurate.. I've yet to hear anyone come on this forum who's had a case of EWS failure and report this on a bike with higher than a few thousand miles.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:08 PM   #373
Wallowa
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Bluhduh Tell That to Folks Left Stranded in BFE..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
The sky is falling... the sky is falling!! If it's man made, it's bound to break.. how often does the EWS ring break? Can anyone answer this? I was at the Canadian Thunder race series, and talked to the tech who services the R1200S factory team bikes. They've had zero problems with the EWS ring antenna or keys.

Chris Pfeiffer's F800 stunt bikes have them, and his bikes are severely abused.. I've asked him and he's had no EWS troubles.

According to my dealer, he's had 4 incidents of EWS failures, 3 were the ring antenna and 1 was caused by a bad key, and in the case of the latter, the key worked intermittently. There are 12 keys available for each bike.

Ask Blueridge if the "sky is falling"...I don't understand why you are an apologist for BMW...not trying to slam you GB...but total loss of ignition is a big deal...and where the hell did the "10 or 12" come from? I agree who knows the number of bikes stranded unexpectedly...BUT this should not happen...especially on a bike touted as an 'Adventure' bike to take into the out back...

Oh yes, no problem on race bikes/ Is that why Nate's antenna was pre-drilled for changing out?

Anyway...I think the total lack of any word from BMW on this issue really sucks..deny a problem and it will go away?
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:13 PM   #374
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"apologist for bmw?" C'mon!! I don't like the EWS and would love to be rid of it, but I'm not so concerned that I feel I need to carry a spare.. I don't.


"10 or 12".. read again.. I'm taking about KEYS, not bikes.

What makes you so certain that this is a widespread problem?
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:19 PM   #375
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I'll just chime back in here and say that if n=1 (only one example of the EWS antenna failing) ... and I happen to be that 1 ... I'm not going to be very happy.

I'm guessing most would concur.

I was out ... maybe 2:30am ... under a full moon a few nights back ... dead smack IN BFE. If it had failed then (out of cell range, not a soul around), I might not have been too cheery.

I DO feel like somebody in BMWNA holds more information about this -- both in terms of prevalence AND further detail about root cause -- and more info, IMO, is never really a bad thing.

MY preference would be to do what's needed to PREVENT the antenna failure, rather than defeat the EWS.

YMMV. TYVM. HAND.
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