R1200GSw LC Wethead Final Drive change and Spline Lube Pictorial!

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

  1. Delmaestro

    Delmaestro Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Brazil
    There’s no doubt That the stored water in the swingarm is the cause of the rust. In some cars and trucks the shaft is exposed to the enviroment and they have no problem. The stored water steams up and rust is forms .
    Sorry for my bad english.
    Hugs from Brazil.
    Regards
    Antônio
    JimVonBaden likes this.
  2. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,116
    Location:
    Westminster
    2014 GSA with 43k miles.
    20190511_131053.jpg
    Upper u-joint totally blown out.
    20190511_131131.jpg
    Also tore up the inside of the swingarm.
    20190511_131452.jpg
    Some rust on the lower section but not near the bearings. No rust on the upper section that gave out. Very little lubrication on the splines, but no rust or sticking. 20190511_131157.jpg
    I suspect that the joint may have given way due to my weight (350#) and the harsher angle of the joint from riding always on the 2 riders setting which lifts the rear of the bike a couple of inches.
    JimVonBaden likes this.
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    85,331
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Looks good!
  4. Vnuh

    Vnuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Thailand
    First of all, thanks @JimVonBaden for the excellent Pictorial and others' sharing - very helpful especially for a guy without access to official dealership like me. My bike is 17.5GS with around 12K KMs ODO. The Ujoint and FD corrode pretty bad that the FD didn't fall apart when I remove the paralink bold, what you see in the picture is water

    IMG_20190518_143148.jpg
    IMG_20190518_144515.jpg

    While I'm figuring out the best place to oder the boot from the US, 3M glue is a temporary fix to patch the pierced rubber boot.
    IMG_20190518_150757.jpg IMG_20190518_150751.jpg

    Greased and put back using ziptie so I can adjust the hanging precisely

    IMG_20190518_162214.jpg
    My 180ml oil :) I know it's cheap but that what I have on-hand. The drained fluid is very muddy.
    IMG_20190518_164652.jpg

    I need your advices to:
    1/ How to take out the spline, the front U-joint doesn't rust that bad and I did hammer the rear couple hits without success.
    2/ I'm worry that the shaft seal will go bad, is it easy to replace the seal? I may take this chance to order it along with the boot.
    3/ Your recommended online store to buy these parts.

    Without this community, dealing with my GS's issue is way more painful than just a couple hours.
  5. Viper5112

    Viper5112 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    "Without this community, dealing with my GS's issue is way more painful than just a couple hours."
    1000% agree....
    Dogslobber and AdamChandler like this.
  6. co425

    co425 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    california/Montana
    2018 gsa 8k hard miles. Probably a 1000 miles of rain and snow over the winter. And several pressure washings. No sign of rust on the male side. Slight surface rust on the female side. 5332BF14-2FDB-4BD4-B9BB-EEE2D7C13C7C.jpeg
    391A7F67-0B7C-4DAC-B147-3B1B6FBF783A.jpeg
    Dogslobber likes this.
  7. Myll

    Myll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Illinois
    Decided to check mine after changing the rear tire. I have had the rear drive submerged a lot. It's obvious water has entered the seal. There was slight amount of lube on splines and the boot had some grease. Separated the drive by hand. 20190526_171300.jpg
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    85,331
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Caught it just in time. Make sure you clean all the rust out before lubing.
  9. TurkeyRun

    TurkeyRun Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    518
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    How many miles/Kms on that one?
    LAFS likes this.
  10. Myll

    Myll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Illinois
    That's 12k miles. Some fairly excessive submersions and I'm not shy to ride in the rain on days I can ride
    JimVonBaden and TurkeyRun like this.
  11. miker325

    miker325 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
    831
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    I'm kind of surprised by the amount of dirt and dust that got in there as well. I'd say that boot wasn't sealing at all, and as Jim said, it's a good thing you pulled things apart when you did. For me, after I got the rust cleaned off the splines, I'd give the area a good washing as well to try and get as much of that grit out of there as possible before things got put back together.
  12. eddyturn

    eddyturn Eternal Wannabe Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,186
    Location:
    Hesperus, CO
    Finally done at 11.4k and looked like new on a 171/2 GS Rallye. Drive shaft was painted black, no water ingress, no rust, no spline lube but now it is. Rubber boot had the wire stiffener in it. Hardest part of the job was getting the splines to line up again but just had to fuck with it a bit and then it was back together. No leaks either out of the drain plug so that's a good thing.
    JimVonBaden likes this.
  13. TurkeyRun

    TurkeyRun Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    518
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Don’t suppose you took any pics?

    We’ve seen a bunch of “this is a bad thing” photos on this thread, it’d be cool to get some good news here :-)
  14. scrambler06

    scrambler06 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Columbus, Indiana
    I have a 2013 R1200GS LC with 28k miles. Reading this thread made me nervous about the condition of my drive shaft and final drive splines. Many thanks to JVB and many other inmates who have documented their bikes and the detailed advice to complete this inspection and service.
    [​IMG]

    When I tried to drop the final drive from the drive shaft per Jim's instructions and my Haynes manual, the splines didn't want to separate. After a short wrestling match, I sprayed the joint with PB Blaster penetrating fluid and let it rest a while. Also decided to raise the swing arm with a jack to elevate it a little. More pulling and I could tell that the drive shaft had become disconnected up front from the tranny splines :dirtdog so I used a soft wire to support the rear joint and when I pulled it back with the wire, the splines finally separated.
    [​IMG]

    I was happy to find no rust on the drive shaft or splines. But... I also couldn't see much evidence of moly paste on the splines. Since the drive shaft was loose from the tranny, I removed it and it looked good
    [​IMG]
    I had planned to use moly grease in this service, but after more reading on this topic overnight I decided to see if I could buy some Honda moly paste M-77. We only have a HD dealer in my town, but the Honda car dealer had it in stock so I got some along with some rust protector from Auto-zone for the drive shaft
    [​IMG]
    My swing arm was very clean on the inside with no evidence of any oil leaking up front
    [​IMG]

    Removed the left side cover to get a better view of the boot on the front of the swing arm and tranny splines. I found that wooden Popsicle sticks (trimmed to needed length) make handy wedges to hold the front boot clear so you can work. Leave the boot and tie wrap connected to the tranny housing. Just disconnect the clips from the swing arm so you can push it toward the front of the bike. Good to see the tranny splines showed some paste as did the mating spline on the drive shaft
    [​IMG]

    Cleaned things up and applied Honda M-77 to tranny splines and drive shaft splines. A second short wooden stick holds the bottom of the boot clear
    [​IMG]

    I was dreading the next step of reconnecting the front of the drive shaft, but having read all the inmate advice I was able to fiddle for about 10 minutes on my own and get it back on the tranny shaft. Being able to see well with the front boot held back, using a screwdriver and fingers to guide it, and rotating the drive shaft with my right hand from the FD end worked!
    [​IMG]

    I used a wood block and hammer to tap the drive shaft from the FD end. On the 4th whack I could tell the internal circlip in the front of the drive shaft had connected. Confirmed by tugging and all good :jkam
    [​IMG]
    Applied white lithium grease to seal the boot and hooked it back into place on the swingarm

    Applied the M-77 to the FD splines / shaft and lithium grease to the FD boot. Both of my boots were in good shape, but I'm a road rider 99% of the time with only a few gravel roads here and there. Followed Jim's advice the reconnect the final drive and drive shaft and that was much easier than the front end
    [​IMG]
    You can look thru the hole in the bottom of the swing arm while the rear tire is removed to double check that the back of the FD boot is seated all round
    [​IMG]

    Jim, thanks again for all the expert service advice you share with this community! I'm planning a run next week to the national rally in Lebanon, TN :beer
  15. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    85,331
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Great photos, and tip on the popsicle sticks! :thumb
  16. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,094
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL / Sylva, NC
    ‘17, 18,000 miles. All dry, no rust, no lube - all good now

    205A3D65-A5D0-4239-840F-3CDEF5F1C9F1.jpeg

    4C43D884-FAC6-481B-9914-7C3BACF5E620.jpeg

    23AD080D-5C98-4E8E-A848-C80C90177C83.jpeg

    did have a small pinhole in the boot, ? from a small pebble? repaired it with some black 5200, but I’ll order a new boot next time I’m ordering parts. props to JVB for his tutorial, made it a piece of cake. :beer
    JimVonBaden likes this.
  17. Ravedigger

    Ravedigger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    519
    Here's what my driveshaft looks like after 108,000 miles. This is from a 2014 GS with lots of water crossings, rain, etc. Honestly it doesn't look too bad considering the boot/gaiter keeps popping open!

    After hearing about splines needing lube, I started asking my dealer to drop the final drive and lube the splines every time I brought it in for service. I started this maybe around 60,000 miles. Recently, I started noticing that when I'd bottom out the suspension on some rough terrain, the boot would come loose. When I brought it in for service, I asked my dealer to check the U-joints because the boot was letting in tons of water and other debris any time it popped open. They told me that the U-joints were notchy, so I ordered a used driveshaft on ebay because BMW wants 1100 dollars to replace the drive shaft! I don't understand why they don't make the U-joints serviceable or rebuildable!

    Either way, I didn't see much rust on my shaft, but I decided to replace it because the U-joints were notchy. The used ebay replacement I bought feels nice and smooth, but it's not painted black like mine is. My guess is that the black paint was added to prevent it from rusting.

    Thanks to @JimVonBaden for the writeup, it was super helpful, though I still struggled aligning the front of the driveshaft with the transmission output shaft. I don't have any tips or tricks to get the front aligned unfortunately. My experience was more of a trial and error process. Keep rotating and pushing and eventually it will align properly.

    I'm planning to look at the original driveshaft with a buddy to see if it's possible to modify it such that it can be serviced, but I don't hold out a lot of hope. Our attempt to replace my front ball joint without destroying the entire fork brace was a spectacular failure so I expect that this will end similarly.

    Attached Files:

    Oeths, JimVonBaden and huskershaun like this.
  18. Delmaestro

    Delmaestro Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Brazil
    F7CE8258-74AC-4E30-B9B3-675C9AD4ECC2.jpeg 9F69A39B-B697-45CC-9D74-B093DFA27DB1.jpeg We already change the U Joint and the shaft spline that rust.
    Regards from Brazil.

    9F69A39B-B697-45CC-9D74-B093DFA27DB1.jpeg
    9F69A39B-B697-45CC-9D74-B093DFA27DB1.jpeg F7CE8258-74AC-4E30-B9B3-675C9AD4ECC2.jpeg
    Ravedigger likes this.
  19. Travman

    Travman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    981
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Well I tackled this myself today. Was nervous since I admittedly have minimal mechanical skills. I used this pictorial, Adam Chandler's video, and Jim's DVD. All were invaluable in helping me with the step by step details, so my thanks to both of you. Start to finish took me about 2 hours including cleanup and putting tools away.

    The biggest pain was getting the rear back in place and the splines to line up. After several tries using various angles it finally just slipped into place.

    Inside things looked clean and the splines appear to have been lubed from the factory. This is a 2018 with 6,000 road only miles. I added a little more lube before buttoning it all up.


    IMG_0120.jpg


    IMG_0121.jpg
  20. Travman

    Travman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    981
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    A follow up question for others that have done this. When you drop the rear down, should the bike be in gear or neutral? I had it in neutral and felt this may have made things harder when getting the splines to align.

    Also, note to self and other neophytes, put the bike in gear before trying to mount the rear wheel. :fpalm