R1200GSw LC Wethead Final Drive change and Spline Lube Pictorial!

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by JimVonBaden, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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  2. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    Thanks JVB, more pix and thoughts. 20190430_135332 rear drive 3.jpg I am afraid to pry against the Aluminum Housing, I tried that and you can see the dents on the rim, I didn't pry very hard. Sugestions as to "How" without further damaging the Aluminum Housing?
    20190430_134857 rear drive 4.jpg

    Autozone loaner slide hammer, with a piece of chain through the U-Joint. Not a sliver of movement after 30 full strokes.

    I've squirted penetrating oil into the spline joint several times before giving the slide hammer a few strokes in hopes that the vibration will work the oil into the joint and loosen things up.

    Thoughts?
  3. Myll

    Myll Been here awhile

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    When prying against anything you dont want to damage, either use a hard wood or any flat piece of metal. Preferably something soft like copper or brass. A thick putty knife could work also.
  4. miker325

    miker325 Long timer

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    Yeah, that's a lot of rust... and it's clearly made its way all the way up the drive shaft to the gearbox output shaft just like Jim feared. If you have some PB Blaster in the shop, give it a good soaking and let it sit overnight. Tomorrow, put a flat piece of wood against the transmission case and lever against that, not the case itself. Be careful not to damage the drive shaft with the pry bar either. It looks from your photo like you may have already nicked it a bit. It's not going to hurt anything in its current state, but you don't want to keep dinging the shoulder up like that if you can help it.

    Once you get the shaft out, you'll want to spend a lot of time cleaning the drive shaft, u-joints, and final drive input shaft of as much of that rust as you can. Coat the shaft and u-joints with a suitable rust inhibitor and then put a good coat of moly grease on the final drive input shaft and rear u-joint splines before putting everything back together again.

    Just remember, PB Blaster (or similar high quality penetrating oil) and time are your best friends at this point. If things are just as tight tomorrow, shoot it again and let it sit for a bit more before trying again. In fact, after letting things sit overnight, try the puller again before resorting to the lever on the front of the shaft. You just never know, it might dislodge everything the easy way.
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  5. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    V I C T O R Y

    I kept at it with the slide hammer and the penetrating oil, about 30 more strokes and she came!

    20190430_152655 rear drive 7.jpg

    20190430_145125 rear drive 8.jpg 20190430_145103 rear drive 6.jpg 20190430_145052 rear drive 5.jpg

    Boots both look good, no holes or wear marks, still have residual White Lithium Grease on sealing surfaces. Cleanup and rust sealing in progress, Moly on the way.

    I'm quite puzzled about the water entry point as both boots were in place properly when I started the disassembly.

    I saw that someone had tried Black RTV instead of the White Lithium Grease, but I did not find a follow on post with a result after inspection.

    I will use Birchwood Casey Rust and Blue Remover on the shafts and inside of each coupling to remove all of the rust on the splines, using a Permatex rust converter on the exterior of the shaft after cleanup and degrease. Will finish with Rustoleum on the shaft and joints.
  6. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    It is very likely it came in and got stuck in there. The boots may look well attached, but without grease on them to seal, you are likely to get water intrusion. Since your upper was only rusty at the splines, but not the shaft itself, I suspect little or no assembly grease! Clen as much rust off everything, specially the splines, and lube liberally. Derust the shaft and paint it with rust inhibitor.

    Overall your splines look OK, so you caught it in time. As messy as it is, use plenty of lithium grease, and redo the lower spline in 6K. If it looks good, go to 12K intervals.
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  7. miker325

    miker325 Long timer

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    Good for you!

    That's a LOT of rust though. Your earlier photos showed the boot on the final drive and it looked like there was no sealing grease on the lip where it contacts the final drive on one end and the swing arm on the other. The boot also looks pretty dried out. The combination of the two is likely responsible for the incursion of water.

    If it were me, I'd swing down to the dealer and get a new rear boot at least, and since you have the shaft out already, I'd replace that front boot as well. If the clamp for that front boot got at all damaged removing it to allow you to pry back the boot and get at the driveshaft, then that should be replaced as well. The reason I'd go the extra step with the front boot too is there was clearly water in that area of the shaft and generally water / rust problems are only found at the final drive end. As such, I'm guessing water is bypassing the front boot as well.

    Post up photos of the cleaned up shaft as everything goes back together so we can compliment you on your work!

    EDIT: Apparently while I was typing, so was Jim. At least we were on the same wave length.
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  8. toowoomba

    toowoomba Certified BMW Therapist MCCL Supporter

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    Well Done! Glad you got that out. Whew... Like @miker325 said - "Post up photos of the cleaned up shaft as everything goes back together so we can compliment you on your work!" Cause I want in on that action!
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  9. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    With so many cases of rust like that, is there any official BMW position on this? Consider all the hassle, time, effort and money spent by so many owners, fixing a fundamental flaw of the design and/or assembly. The newer shafts are painted, but if the rubber boots/sleeves keep letting water in, this is going to be an ongoing problem for the life of these bikes. I don't want to be dealing with this every 6-12K miles.

    As I said in an earlier post #877, I checked my 2007 K1200 with 39K miles on it, and there is no sign of rust on its unpainted shaft, so obviously no significant amount of water ever made it in 12 years, through rain rides and washing. Better design, better seal? What do you think?
  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    BMW started painting the shafts in the middle of 2016. They updated the rear boot around that time as well. IMHO, the boot design is the issue. It lets water in if not perfectly sealed, but will not let it out. They also do not apply enough lube to the splines in some cases.

    Completely different FD, even if it looks similar.
  11. miker325

    miker325 Long timer

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    So Jim, from what little I know, the new boot design included a metal wire to act as a spring and keep the u-joint from rubbing a hole in the boot if the boot started getting soft and began collapsing in on itself a bit. Does it also improve the seal against the swing arm and final drive? If it does, I might be talked into replacing my OE boot with the new and improved boot when I do the next 6K mile service, as I'll likely be dropping the FD at the same time just to make sure there are no problems a brewing. Thoughts?
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    From what I can tell it wasn't just a spring wire. The mating surfaces appears a little heavier and seem to seal better. You still need a good layer of lithium grease on it.
  13. miker325

    miker325 Long timer

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    Sounds like maybe they figured out more than just the abrasion issue some bikes were having and it might be worth spending a couple of extra bucks for the new boot the next time the final drive is dropped.

    Thanks for the quick reply!
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  14. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    I'm wondering if one couldn't adapt a one-way check valve of some kind into the bottom of the rear boot to allow the water to drain out. The pocket in the swing arm 20190430_145052 rear drive 5.jpg right before the rear boot also retains moisture and debris, at least there was evidence of moisture and some debris in mine when disassembled.

    I warned a couple of friends that don't frequent this place about my discovery. Neither was aware or had ever checked their Splines. One will do it next week, the other whose bike is in the shop called the dealer and asked for them to open and inspect and as he put it "They put Elmer Fudd on the line". My friend thought it was part of maintenance at 36,000 miles but that is incorrect at least as far as I can tell from the BMW maintenance sheets posted by JVB.
  15. texas_aggie

    texas_aggie Been here awhile

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    I think the rust is not as big a concern as it has been made out to be. I work around powered equipment with similar high-speed driveshafts that are typically not factory lubed, by design. They all rust somewhat, and spline wear failures are very rare. That being said, I've lubed the splines on my GS twice now, and it's definitely not a bad practice. But I'm not sure it's really something that is critical for the long term reliability of the final drive.
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Unfortunately, as evidenced in this thread, when rust gets severe enough, the shaft rust welds itself to the FD and Trans output shaft. In a very few rare cases, the rust cause DS and FD spline failure.
  17. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

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    Shaft cleaned and painted
    20190502_165526 Rear Drive Shaft Painted.jpg Wine Cork protects internal splines when de-rusting and painting. 20190501_145021 rear drive 12.jpg

    Splines on Transmission and Rear Drive cleaned and de-rusted.
    20190501_154327 rear drive 10.jpg 20190501_154349 rear drive 11.jpg

    Molly required for assembly just delivered by the Brown Truck.

    Driveshaft needs to dry until morning.
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  18. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Very nice work! That should make a big difference in longevity!
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  19. Daleah

    Daleah Long timer

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    I had just at 6k miles. Found out my boot had a pinch on the tire side. So it was incorrectly installed (assuming ok didn't do it) at the factory. Mine is an early 2013, so probably still learning how to build them at that point.
  20. kimokk

    kimokk Been here awhile

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