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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-21-2004, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy drive shaft

During a long stator replacement job I encountered an unlubed, dried, extremely worn propellor drive shaft joint which I replaced for $ 90.00 or so. I didn't tear into the rear differential yet to see the looks of it, but I can guess it ain't good. Does the factory rebuild those or do I have to fork out a thousand bucks for a new one? By the way, I bought this bike because everyone writes about the low maintenance and reliability of it.....I've yet to understand just what it is they mean. It's a great ride and I actually like the looks...but I've had the motor rebuilt twice in the first few months of it's life (under warranty) and nothing but a bunch of stupid problems and then the stator replacement and now the drive shaft. What's up with the engineers at Kawasaki that can't get it right after 20 years?
Justin
2003 VN750
23000 miles
Electrex charging system
fused stator
M880 tires
W & M saddlebags
Volt/Temp/Clock meter
Meir Windshield
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-21-2004, 03:16 PM
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Re: drive shaft

I haven't understood the statements of low maintenance either. Years ago I had a Yamaha and put thousands of miles on it and never had to do anything to it except change oil, and it was shaft drive. There are definitely too many problems with the VN750 that should have been addressed and fixed a long time ago by the factory. As for the final drive, as long as ther is gear oil in the differential then it won't need any kind of maintenance, unless a bearing or seal goes bad. But where the drive shaft connetcs to the pinion is a different story. The splines there have to be lubed every 7,000 miles or so but as long as the splines on the pinion and drive shaft coupling are good then you shouldn't have to do anything to it except for grease.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-21-2004, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: drive shaft

It's the splines I'm worried about, I figure they are probably worn just like the coupler was. Is there a company the fixes these or is it a part I can get and replace myself?

Justin
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-21-2004, 05:42 PM
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Re: drive shaft

You can hit up Ebay for a rearend or driveshaft relatively cheap.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 12:16 PM
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Re: drive shaft

There is a final drive on eBay right now, 8 hours left
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...RK%3AMEWA%3AIT

as for the actual driveshaft, I happen to have a couple in stock. Chance are if the drive shaft gears are worn the final drive has suffered the same damage. Good news is it's not hard to fix if you can pick up the part at a reasonable price. Requires pulling the rear wheel of course and be sure and use a good moly to grease the splines. Honda moly seems to be the preferred one.

Dianna
Conway, AR
Patriot Guard Rider
2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
VROC # 11628 / 25000-H
ARVROC # 12 Coordinator and Crowd Control
OKVROC # 18 (H)
TNVROC # 45 (H)
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 08:43 AM
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Re: drive shaft

Justin,
I've been through the same thing with one of mine.

When you say "I didn't tear into the rear differential yet to see the looks of it, but I can guess it ain't good.", if you mean inside of the Final Drive Case itself, there shouldn't be anything wrong in there just because the Propeller Shaft Joint was dry. If there were any damage to the splines on the Final Drive pinion shaft, you would have been able to see that clearly when you removed the Final Drive to replace the Joint. Normally, due to the way the Joint is held together with the clip inside of the Joint on the Drive Shaft, most wear or destruction of the splines will occur on the Pinion Shaft instead of the Drive Shaft. If the splines were good on the pinion shaft, that Final Drive Unit should be good to go. It's filled with SAE80 or SAE90 gear oil.

I haven't found anyone yet that rebuilds the Final Drive. It takes specialized tools and machines, and is not something that is easily done in a residential garage setting. The machined gears have to be replaced in pairs, and everything assembled to very close tolerances. The cost of rebuilding may be prohibitive due to the number of year models that will interchange with it and the availability of used replacements at a relatively low cost.

I have photos of my Final Drive Joint replacement at:
http://www.cdthayer.com/cruisermaint...#Final%20Drive

CD in Anadarko, OK
1995 VN750
2003 VN750
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: drive shaft

I replaced the drive shaft sleeve by removing the shaft thru the front by the bevel gear, so looking down the shaft to see what the pinion gear looked like was impossible. I didn't mean literally tearing into my rear diff., I just meant removing the final drive and looking at the pinion that fits into the collar. I suppose it is probably worn like the collar was...but maybe not. It sucks that they design it in such a way that it wears at all. The collar should be the weak link that is replaceable (for $90) not the final drive that cost $1,000. This is Kawasaki genius engineers planning on making more money on repairs of their bike instead of the purchase cost.

Justin

PS: When it's all together..what do you think it would sell for?
2003 VN 750
23000 miles
W & M saddlebags
Meir Windscreen
Clock/Volt/Temp meter
Electrex charging system
Fused stator
ME 880 tires
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 11:42 AM
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Re: drive shaft

These two areas from CD Thayer's page
( http://www.cdthayer.com/cruisermain...m#Final%20Drive ) are the most important. If the teeth are fine here I would say you are good to go. Both are visible with removal of the rear wheel without tearing into anything
This is what my pinion shaft spline looks like after I failed to lubricate it at the regular mileage interval.
http://www.cdthayer.com/imagesbike/F...302S_small.JPG


Here's a look inside of the Propeller Shaft Joint, showing the clip ring that holds it in place on the Propeller Shaft. I ground a small set of clip ring pliers down on the bench grinder so they would fit inside of the joint.
After removing the clip ring, spacer and Propeller Shaft Joint, I inspected the splines on the drive shaft. They were not damaged, so my problems were confined to the pinion shaft.
http://www.cdthayer.com/imagesbike/F...303S_small.JPG

The design is fine as long as it is maintained. Unfortunately your bike seems to fall into a period (2002, 2003 models) that seems to have not been initially molyed or improperly molyed by either the factory at initial assembly or checked by the dealer at the setup or 500 mile check-up. Some dealers don't even KNOW about splines and think you are talking final gear instead. A discussion over on the yahoo group earlier this year had several checking theirs and we found a few dry splines. In most cases they were caught in time. We even did a spline lube clinic at Kentucky Lake Gathering so many could see the process. Hey if this wrench wench can do it then you guys should be able to!
General rule is.. If you have the back tire off, check the splines while you are at it. Once the reccommended moly is applied you are usually good to go for many many miles.
CD's (aka Old Poop *G*) site has been an excellent source for the spline maintenance, along with a few others in the group.

Dianna
Conway, AR
Patriot Guard Rider
2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
VROC # 11628 / 25000-H
ARVROC # 12 Coordinator and Crowd Control
OKVROC # 18 (H)
TNVROC # 45 (H)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-26-2004, 08:29 AM
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Re: drive shaft

Justin,

OK, I understand what you're saying now. Makes sense. You came in from the front.

Compared to the stator replacement, dropping the Final Drive out for a peek at the pinion spline should be a piece of cake for you. I just hope yours doesn't look as bad as mine did.

CD in Anadarko, OK
1995 VN750
2003 VN750
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: drive shaft

CD,

I saw your web page w/good pics of your repair on the rear end. Did you have to just go ahead and buy a new differential to repair it or just replace the pinion gear in it?

Justin
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