Help, FD won't connect.

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Monsignore, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
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    1,116
    Location:
    Astoria, Queens
    (Bike is '05 R1200GS, 58,000miles)

    I thought today would be a nice service day: change FD oil & lube splines, replace rear brake rotor and pads, test ride all before the rain set in.

    Nope.

    FD oil drained, splines lubed, and that's where I'm stuck. I've been struggling for the past 3 hours to get my FD and driveshaft splines to align. I can get the FD side to just start to connect with the drive shaft, but then the corner of the FD gets caught in the mouth of the shaft. I've tried brute strength, banging on FD housing with a rubber mallet, I even bought a ratcheting tie-down to try to slowly force it in. All to no avail.

    Right now the bike is on the street with the FD held up by the tie-down, it's gonna rain soon, I work until 2:30 tomorrow, MaxBMW is closed tomorrow, and I go out of town Tuesday thru Saturday.

    Am I missing something, is there an easy way I'm not seeing? I'm proper fooked, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
    #1
  2. whisperquiet

    whisperquiet Long timer

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    Try putting the transmission in gear to keep the driveshaft from turning.
    #2
  3. WoodButcher

    WoodButcher Long timer

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    Pull the rubber boot off and put it together a couple of times. With the boot off you can see what you are doing and learn the trick. Then put the boot back on and put it together one last time.
    #3
  4. Kingsized

    Kingsized Kingsized Adventurer

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    Don't try and force it. When it aligns it will slide in. The last time I serviced my final drive I had the same problem. It only took me about 30 minutes but I had an extra set of hands. Walk away from it for a bit. We didn't find an exact solution, it just finally slid in after rotating the rear tire and playing with the transmission. Not much help I know.
    #4
  5. Jorik

    Jorik Adventurer

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    This + try to hold shaft straight by screwdriver inserted into u-joint.
    #5
  6. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

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    :baldy

    I tried fitting the parts without the boot. Nope.

    In gear. Nope.

    In neutral. Nope.

    Screwdriver in U-joint. Nope.

    Various combinations of the above. Nope.

    Even when I could align both parts by hand without the boot, and was fairly certain I had flange and groove matched, there would be no movement. It's like the receiving end suddenly shrunk by a minute amount. :becca

    :dog
    #6
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :nod That is how I do it. If you lower it gently and add the boot, it usually goes right back on.

    Jim :brow
    #7
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Go have a beer and relax. When you start again it will fir right on!:lol3

    Some people find using a rag under the shaft to hold it up a bit helps. Just make sure the rag has a part hanging out to the side so you can pull it out when done.

    Jim :brow
    #8
  9. orgo

    orgo Been here awhile

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    Don't use force or rubber mallet. If it's aligned it'll slip on. be patient
    #9
  10. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Does that model have a phasing spline which requires rotational alignment?
    #10
  11. FlyingFinn

    FlyingFinn Long timer

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    No.
    #11
  12. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    Per Jim Von Baden's Tech Pictorial:

    http://www.jimvonbaden.com/R1200_Final_Drive.html

    Step 8 says...
    "8. Install the rubber gaitor, pivot the rear-wheel drive up and introduce the bevel-pinion shaft into the universal drive shaft. If necessary, turn the FD gently back and forth to facilitate this operation. (This is made way easier if you have the bike in neutral.) I took half an hour to figure this out, and it still took a few minutes). Also, if you are having trouble, pull the gaiter off and test fit it, then reinstall the gaiter and it will go on easier."

    Here's a trick I discovered: (variation of the ole SUPPORT THE SHAFT WITH A SCREWDRIVER when assembling):

    I make a U-shaped stainless wire and loop it UNDER the "universal drive shaft".
    Open part of the U at the TOP.
    This makes it EASY to adjust the mating shaft...LEFT or RIGHT...UP or DOWN.

    Once you've got it initially mated...PULL the wire out.

    Yeah...takes us ALL about an hour to figure this critter out...so don't be so hard on yourself.:huh

    Like a previous posters idea of having a beer break! :freaky

    Sometimes...starting a project on a NEW day also helps.

    Good luck.
    #12
  13. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I find it best if you set the driveshaft up so it hinges vertically without binding at all. Drop it nearly straight down and lift gently.
    Did it not fit before or after the banging and ratchet strap? Hard to believe you could damage the splines but you might check for burrs now.

    Got a friend nearby? They don't need anything but a couple extra fingers to help you with. Even a pissed off wife/girlfriend will work.
    #13
  14. kk3an

    kk3an Adventurer

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    Having done this many times personally, I agree 100% with trc.rhubarb....it sounds as if the final drive is not being introduced perfectly flush to the shaft. Perhaps apply grease to the initial contacting surfaces, and try to introduce both at as close to a 1:1 as possible.
    #14
  15. bobbybob

    bobbybob Long timer

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    Any chance the front splines are pulled back from the transmission output shaft?
    #15
  16. Disco Dean

    Disco Dean Long timer

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    I have mastered it now (2006 GS) after all these years but it did take a few times and some cursing the first few times.

    I can offer nothing that already hasn't been suggested.... but will add,

    If you have been a little overaggressive with your trying - ie. mallet or ratchet tie-downs you may have made a few of the spline gears "proud".

    This would for sure - for sure - make it near to next impossible to now get on.

    The fit is quite tight and with the angles involved... impossible.

    My advise - if this is what has happened - is to get a nice little triangular fine finishing file. Gently take it to the splines (both sides) and remove the leading edge burr if you have tweaked it.

    ..patience - it will go on easily but it has to be perfect and once done a few times it becomes a breeze. I still take a bit of a breath each time to make sure I get it right.

    Good luck.
    #16
  17. hyena

    hyena Been here awhile

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    Hang in there. I did my 2005 once, and struggled for an hour trying to get it back. Pulled the boot back two or three times. Finally walked away from it for a while. Had lunch, relaxed to get the blood pressure down. Went back at it and it slid right in.
    #17
  18. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    Get a helper to hold the final drive while you dick with the drive shaft.

    I had the problem once and ended up dislodging the drive shaft at the transmission end. I did not completely remove the driveshaft. The extra 1/2 inch extension made the reconnection easy on the final drive. Raising the final drive forced the driveshaft's transmission end forward, engaging the transmission output shaft.

    Afterward I was concerned if the driveshaft circlip was sufficiently engaged onto the transmission output shaft. A year later I pulled the driveshaft for universal joint inspection and found the driveshaft fully engaged onto the transmission output shaft.
    #18
  19. Monsignore

    Monsignore Plunger Boy

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    Location:
    Astoria, Queens
    Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement.

    I've been trying for the last hour+.

    I can get splines to touch enough that rotating the FD turns the driveshaft, but this rotation causes the FD unit to slowly bob up and down. This makes me think the splines aren't quite lining up 100% because the U-joint's rotation is a bit eccentric.
    I've been trying to avoid force this time. I didn't notice any burrs, but maybe they're too small to feel through my gloved finger.

    Oh, and it's raining now.

    Halfway through a Lagunitas IPA, then I'll truck over to Home Depot to see if they have the file Disco Dean suggested. I'll give his tip a try.

    I have a head lamp so my cut-off time is 8:30ish when the wife gets home and I have to start packing for our vacation tomorrow.
    #19
  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    It is very rare to damage them. Get an assistant to hold the dirveshaft and joint level with the FD as you lift it. Put the bike in gear and lift the FD while turning the brake rotor. You will eventually see how it fits in. Done like this I can have any FD on in seconds.

    BTW I once get frustrated with a FD and had to step away, but it does get easier once you feel it a few times.

    Jim :brow
    #20