Final drive spline alignment

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Juggernaut, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Been here awhile

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    Last year I successfully changed my final drive oil per JVB's most excellent video. This year I just can't get the driveshaft splines and the input splines to line up on my 09' GSA. I've been wrestling with it for hours and also tried to use a screwdriver under the gaiter to no avail. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm about to start screaming like a 10 year old girl.
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    It can be frustrating.

    First, step back and have a drink. Then remove the gaitor and bring it up and pay close attention to how it lines up.

    Do not push it all the way on so it clicks. With the bike in gear, drop it slowly back down and reinstall the gaitor. Then carefully lift it back up, holding the driveshaft up with a screwdriver or whatever. Remember how it lined up with the gaitor off, and try to replicate it.

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Been here awhile

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    Thanks Jim, I went down to see if I could even get it lined up without the gaiter on and still couldn't get the damn thing to attach. The teeth look fine. Should I have the pivot head on the driveshaft lined up vertically or horizontally (if that makes a difference.) You're right, iced tea sounds good, I'll try again tomorrow.
    #3
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    The pivot on the driveshaft should line up with the FD.

    [​IMG]

    So basically the U-joint on the driveshaft should be tilted down about 30°.

    Jim :brow
    #4
  5. Jason1202GStime!

    Jason1202GStime! Been here awhile

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    I share with you your pain when I first service my final drive! It is really a pain in the ass! :rofl

    My suggestion, try to hold the final drive universal joint with a screwdriver. Pinch the gator back using your hand and get the final drive to meet uni joint. When both of them are in contact, pull the final drive up by holding the brake disc. At the same time, rotate the disc slightly to get the drive shalf in. At this point, with one hand on the brake disc pulling up, use your the other hand to guide the shalf with the screw driver.

    Once you feel both of the contact are just in place, remove the screwdriver and pat the final drive with some force. Upward. With one hand still holding on to the brake disc, try tap it back into place.

    Hope this will help! Cheers!
    #5
  6. johnny80s

    johnny80s Been here awhile

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    Holy Moly! I can believe this is such a pain in the ass. I give up and will try again tomorrow. I wish I drank, or smoked a little something something, or took pills or sniffed glue. I guess I will have to settle for a shower and a cold glass of water. :1drink
    #6
  7. jogo

    jogo Been here awhile

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    Hi,
    I struggle with the same every time I change the oil. For me, in connection with some swearing, it usually works to put it into first gear, lift the connection with a screwdriver as others described and then lift the FD by holding it by the brake rotor.
    That way you can slightly rotate the hub a bit back and forth, while aligning that parts that are supposed to connect as good as you can. For me that usually helps.
    #7
  8. johnny80s

    johnny80s Been here awhile

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    Going to try that too. Couldn't hurt.
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  9. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I make the u-joint horizontal, bike in neutral.
    Lift fd up a little and then raise the shaft with a finger until it's close to the same angle.
    Wiggle the brake disk back and forth until the splines drop in.
    I've done it maybe 4 times, so no expert but it's also never taken more than a few tries to get it to line up.
    #9
    Beecher Snipes likes this.
  10. GrouchyGeezer

    GrouchyGeezer idjit galoot, still Supporter

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    A long, thin screwdriver to fit in the universal joint (cardan) to align the joint to the shaft as you raise the FD. All the while slightly wiggling the rotor to help align the splines. The screwdriver will also hold back the rubber boot as you do this. I actually use an ice pick, but not many folk have one of those.

    If everything is properly aligned, no force will be necessary. It slips right in, then you have a WTF moment regarding the previous struggle.
    #10
  11. johnny80s

    johnny80s Been here awhile

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    I got the final drive into the u joint. I am now going to tell you all how to do this and tell you the secrets that everyone here is not telling you. :D

    Pull off the boot. Get some string and tie up the shaft so it is a bit high. Point the drive shaft female end down so it mates with the shaft. You will know they have mated when you turn the rotor and see the drive shaft turn. To get them to fully mate together press down on the drive shaft and push on the final drive when the angle is correct it will slide in. Remember the angle on the final drive is changing so you have to point the drive shaft down the start it then flatten out the angle so the shaft can move in.

    I did this with the boot on a few times then I put the boot on and got it the first time. As soon as it slipped in a put the bolt in to hold it then cut the string and pulled it out. Don't forget the fit the boot all the way on.

    The voodoo is gone and now I can repeat this. I agree with the OP when this does not go right you want to scream like a little girl. Thanks all for you suggestions.

    I hope this helps others in the future.
    #11
  12. Banjosandbikes

    Banjosandbikes n00b

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    Thanks to all for the information. I just joined the forum and am a "virgin" among you inmates so please be gentle. I just swapped over from a F650GS to an '09 R GSA this fall (bike has about 30K on it) and am going through it from stem to stern this month. I am now wishing I had chain and sprockets once again as I've spent two hours trying to get the blasted splines to line up. It's nice to see that it's not "just me" as the JVB DVD makes it look so easy! I'm going to try some of the recommendations you guys suggested and maybe it'll work. When I'm done with this one, I've got to go through my dad's R1100RT. Was hoping to have it figure out on my bike first.

    On another note, my front shock blew yesterday and that does not look like an easy swap out? (have ESA)
    #12
  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Take off the boot so you can see what you need to do with the driveshaft to get it aligned. Then replicate it with the boot on. Once you develop a feel for it the just is cake.


    Front shock is not bad: http://www.jimvonbaden.com/Ohlins_Shock_Install.html

    If you have a crash bar you will need to remove it. Sometimes you also need to remove the alternator belt cover.
    #13
  14. Banjosandbikes

    Banjosandbikes n00b

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    All - I meshed the advise in the posts and I was able to get the splines to align with no issue. I modified "Grouchygiezers" ice pic approach and inserted a thin "tent stake" once I got the joints mated without the boot (thanks Jim! - also, I have your 36K DVD and it's awesome!). I left the "stake" in place, disjoined the splines, put the boot on, and it came back in place perfectly with the drive shaft steady in place! I then pulled the "stake" to allow the forward side of the boot to engage. I would attach pics of the inserted slim "stake", but can't seem to figure out how to upload?
    #14
  15. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    I found that creating a "U" shaped loop of stainless steel wire UNDER the joint will allow you to move it LEFT/RIGHT and UP/DOWN to make the alignment.

    I screamed, as well, a couple years back...but NEVER since.

    It's now about a 1 minute reconnect.:clap
    Kinda like riding a bicycle for the first time.

    Try it and report back.
    #15
  16. Banjosandbikes

    Banjosandbikes n00b

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    Trying to insert some pics, hope they come through...

    After aligning splines with boot off I rotated the shaft so I could insert the thing "tent stake"

    [​IMG]

    https://banjosandbikes.smugmug.com/Spline-Alignment/i-LGSG7NF/A

    With the stake remaining in place, I dropped the final drive, inserted the boot from the rear, pushed the FD up, and poof, it popped right in. The stake kept the shaft at the perfect height/angle. I pulled the stake to allow the front end of the boot to seat.

    [​IMG]

    https://banjosandbikes.smugmug.com/Spline-Alignment/i-KRLtJRH/A

    Now, off to pull the busted front shock! Thanks to everyone for your post, they're really helpful!:norton
    #16
  17. noelm

    noelm Been here awhile

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    #17
  18. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    Well. I never had any problem with mine.
    I just stick my finger in there and push up on the end of the shaft, to align it to an angle so they slip together.
    The only problem with it is that you do not have the right angle. Just move the finger, and the end of the shaft up and down a bit til you get the right angle.
    And rotate the wheel to allow the splines to line up.
    It never took me more than half a minute.
    dc
    #18
  19. GrouchyGeezer

    GrouchyGeezer idjit galoot, still Supporter

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    It's the blue gloves that do it! Without those gloves at the factory it would look like a truckload of footballs just got delivered to monkey island! :D
    #19
  20. Banjosandbikes

    Banjosandbikes n00b

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    Yes, with blue gloves and BMW bib overalls you could build a nuclear reactor under the tank.:norton
    #20