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Throwout Bearing Maintenance

...cleaning, inspecting, and servicing the throwout assembly on '74 to '84 airheads every 10K. Would someone be willing to describe this process in enough detail so that I would have half a chance of performing this myself successfully?

Sure... The reason I suggest doing this, is due to the nature of the layout of the rollers in the bearing. Before the '74's (/5 and earlier), BMW used a ball bearing throw-out assembly. They went back to this after 1984. If you referrence a price list, you will see that the '74 to'84 roller set up is a LOT cheaper. The rollors are laid out radially in a circle.This insure that as the rollers attempt to roll, one end will go faster than the other and will scrape on the two "thrust pieces" on each side.

The bearings do fail (usually indicated by a sudden need to take up slack in the clutch cable). Now, the failed bearing, the two thrust pieces and the clutch thrust rod are turning as a unit. The clutch end of the thrust rod can bore into the forward pressure plate of the clutch assembly. Surprisingly, the bike can still be operated while this is going on, with the rider noting strange shifting and odd clutch noises. This happens often enough that I carry a spare set up as insurance for my wife's '78 R100/7, when we tour. (I have, of course, the vastly superior /5)

OK, how to check a new-to-you bike/10K service interval. Detach the clutch cable at the throw-out arm. Clean up the area , as there usually is a lot of road grit on the back of the gear-box. There is a C-clip that locks the throwout pivot rod to the two cast aluminium "ears" of the rear gearbox cover. CAREFULLY remove

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