After the restoration: Transmission problems?
Apr 21, 2001 (Saturday)
This message I posted to the slash2 mailing list (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/slash2) tells the story:
To: slash2 mailing list <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: Marco S Hyman <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 19:32:53 -0700 Subject: [slash2] The transmission that hates spring I’ve come to the conclusion that the transmission on my R69S hates spring. Last spring it popped out of gear at exactly the wrong time causing bent push-rods and exhaust valves. This spring it’s being troublesome, again. I think its jealous that it is the only part of the bike that wasn’t restored. It wants new seals and bearings, too. Or something like that. Anyway, the problem. The bike ran fine this morning. After breakfast I noticed when shifting into third on a freeway entrance a few miles from the restaurant that the clutch engagement point was further than normal. No slipping, though. About two miles later, at a stop light at a freeway exit, the engagement point seemed ever further, yet. At a stop sign about 1/4 mile later the bike wouldn’t move. It acted as if the clutch was engaged. No movement in first or second gear. I was only about 1/2 mile from my destination so I pushed the bike there instead of working on it at the side of the road. Clutch cable looked good. Adjustment lock-nuts were tight. However, the adjustment was off -- no free play. The free play was checked last week (less than 100 miles ago) and was fine. It’s as if the cable shrank! I was able to adjust the cable so the clutch works. That got me home. But I haven’t a clue as to what happened. All of the failure modes I can think of that occur outside of the transmission would result in a clutch that couldn’t disengage -- my problem was the opposite. Any ideas? My plan is to pull the transmission and check the clutch and flywheel. If all is OK there (and I expect it is) I guess it will be time to open the transmission. Perhaps that will make it feel better. // marc
There was a bit of poetic license in the above as my last bit of bike problems was in August 2000, a bit late for spring. But anyway…
Apr 23, 2001 (Monday)
Since I decided I to pull the transmission, I thought I’d pull the swing arm first. I know I don’t have to, but thought I’d take this opportunity to re-route the electrical to the proper side of the drive shaft. It would also let me get to some otherwise hard-to-reach places for inspection and cleaning.
The rear wheel came out easy enough. It’s a bit of a tight fit, but if I pull the nut off of the left shock mounting bolt I do not need to let the air of of the tire. Easy is good, as I took the wheel off before I loosened the drive shaft bolts. Dumb. Put the wheel back on, then loosened the drive shaft bolts, then took the wheel off. On a serendipitous note, I found one of the 4 drive shaft screws was not very tight. It did not take much force to break it free. The other three took some effort; expected, as I used lock-tite when attached the drive-shaft.
The picture of the wiring connector is to remind me what goes where when I put the fender back. I also see where I need to add another couple of washers to keep bolt heads from scratching the paint. There were no real problems taking the fender off.
I drained the drive shaft tube and then put a rag between the rear end and the right muffler in preparation for pulling the swing arm. I got a bit of a surprise removing the shock mounting bolts (below). I used the tool kit pin wrench to pull the swing arm mounting pins and removed the swing-arm and rear end.
I was a bit “shocked” when I pulled the swing-arm and found that the right shock eye wasn’t connected to the shock itself. Perhaps this explains the squeaking from the right side that I was going to look at as long as the bike was apart. The threads on the shock and on the eye look OK, but there must be some damage as the shock no longer wants to screw into the eye. I’ll take it to Joe’s next week and see if we can clean the threads.
Apr 24, 2001 (Tuesday)
Apparently I’m an incompetent mechanic. Loose drive shaft bolts, loose shock mounting eyes (although others have reported running into the same problem when assembling with anti-seize). Todays findings don’t improve my score.
I checked both ends of the clutch cable before pulling the transmission. They look good, were well greased, with no broken strands detected by both sight and feel.
All 6 screws holding the clutch plate were loose. Two had backed out enough that they were rubbing against the transmission housing, grinding off bits of aluminum. Obviously I did not fasten them tight enough when installing. Maybe it’s time to buy that air driven impact wrench.
On the positive side the splines look OK, with bits if grease still stuck to them. Of course I expected that after only 2300 miles. The point of the throw out rod was quite dry, and a bit chewed, however.
I pulled the clutch off to check the flywheel. Looks OK. Put an indicator on it and spun the engine from the generator. The runout is also within tolerance. There is a bit of a wet look from behind the flywheel, but I’m guessing that is the result of the leakage around the rear main seal which stopped somewhere between 600 and 1800 miles after restoration.
The hole in the pressure plate looks a bit chewed. It is very dry. But the most interesting find was the rear end of the throw out rod. Someone on the /2 mailing list said the rod can’t get bigger. Yes it can! The second picture shows the rod with thrust washer, ball cage, and thrust piece. Notice the position of the thrust washer. Now look at the third picture. There is a gap. I’ve exaggerated the size of the gap a bit, but when I removed the throw out rod the thrust washer was stuck with a 2-3 mm gap.
Why? I suspect a bit of dirt. It’s fine now. How did a bit of dirt get in there? At first I thought a seal was missing because I misread the parts book. No, it’s there, but I believe the seal is worn. I’m ordering a new one, part number 21 52 1 020 109.
May 15, 2001 (Tuesday)
I didn’t think the bike had been down that long, but it looks like it’s been quite a while. Anyway, ordered parts arrived long ago and Joe Groeger had just the tools needed to fix the threads on my shock. It’s time to start putting this puppy back together.
As long as I was ordering parts from Vech I ordered some of his spark plug caps. They do not have the 1000 ohm resistance that the metal ones have. I’m hoping this helps my on-and-off starting problems.
These are the clutch parts. I marked them when I took them off so they will go back on the correct way. I’ve new clutch screws and will use a bit of lock-tite on them. The blue seal will replace the worn, black seal.
I tightened the clutch plate with the clutch alignment tool
in place and then installed the the clutch screws, using lock-tite and
an impact driver. Then for good measure I staked the screws in place.
They are not going any place, this time.
I refreshed the grease on the input shaft splines and then slipped the transmission into place. I then fastened it and attached the ground wire, the neutral switch wire, and the speedo cable. I put the new seal on the throw out rod and installed it: it fits much tighter than the old seal. The clutch cable was than installed and adjusted at both ends.
I pulled the left rear shock. It hadn’t come completely loose from its lower eye, but it wasn’t tight. I cleaned of all of the anti-seize and re-installed the lowers on both shocks as tight as I could. The shocks were then put back on the bike. I’m ready to re-install the swing-arm.
May 16, 2001 (Wednesday)
Busy day, today, and not much time to work on the bike. At least I got the swing-arm mounted. Got to get this bike on the road as I’ll be otherwise bike-less starting tomorrow (until the R1150 RT I ordered arrives).
An old broom handle serves to hold the swing arm in position until the pivots are installed. This protects the paint. I used the shop manual method of centering the swing arm with zero end play and then adding another 1/8 turn of one of the pivots to set the bearing load. The lock nuts were then tightened. While I was at it I gave the bearings some new grease. The shocks and brake linkage were attached. Then I waxed the swing-arm and frame, especially the parts that are impossible to get to with the fender installed.
May 17-18, 2001 (Thursday-Friday)
It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. “They” are out to keep me from getting my R69S back on the road. Thursday one of the things that kept me from this bike was picking up my K12LT from the shop and delivering it to the place that is going to sell it. Friday, as I was working on this bike, CalBMW calls and says that if the color Blue is acceptable I can pick up my R 1150 RT in the afternoon. What would you do? I got a new bike. That leaves this bike about 45 minutes from being ready to start.
I had to file down the bolt holding the brake bell crank to the swing arm as it was gouging a groove in the fender. I touched up the paint before installing the fender.
Of course, in hindsight, that was a stupid thing to do. If I had bother to look at the notes I took before I dismantled the bike for restoration I would have found my drawing that shows the castle nut on the outside of the swingarm, not the inside. The bolt head is thin enough that when mounted correctly it won’t touch the fender. Next time I have the fender off I’ll fix this.
It’s always a pain to get the fender installed as the holes don’t quite line up, especially the rack brace. I eventually got the job done, didn’t scratch the fender, and even put in some washers that got left out last time I did this.
The wheel is installed. The only thing left to do is hook up the drive shaft, fill the drive shaft tube with 150 cc of GL5 gear oil, and check the oil in the rear end as some may have leaked out of the breather when I was moving things around. Next week. I’ll be putting miles on the new bike this weekend.
May 21, 2001 (Monday)
It was a sacrifice, but I took the time to get the R69S back together instead of riding the R 1150 RT.
I cleaned the drive shaft screws with alcohol swabs and let them dry, then used lock-tite to fasten the drive shaft to the transmission output flange. The boot was folded back to give me space to work. Once the screws were tight I folded the boot back over the transmission and tightened the clamp.
New crush washers for the drive shaft fill and drain screws. Since I completely drained the swing arm I used 150 cc of GL5. On a normal drain and fill I only use about 100 cc as 50 cc or so seem to get stuck in the boot.
Note to self: next time re-connect the wires before installing the air filter. The only thing left to do is install the battery. It’s on the charger right now. I’ll wait until it’s fully charged and then put it on the bike, verify the lighting works, and take the bike for a ride. Hopefully there will be nothing else to do except check air and oil (both are fine) between now and the 3600 mile service.