did my spline lube - now my suspension's changed?! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
VN750 General Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
did my spline lube - now my suspension's changed?!

So, in the first "shop session" of a motorcycle maintenance class I'm taking, I got to do a few things under the eye of an experienced mechanic, with his full (and to me, awe inspiring) set of tools, greases and fluids on hand as well as his expert advice.

- I took off my rear wheel. To do this wasn't that bad at all. I put the bike on the center stand, took off the exhaust on the right side by undoing three bolts, moved the rear brake line and swing arm out of the way, took out the axle and deflated the rear tire to make it easier to wiggle out. Ta-da!

- I cleaned the splines with contact cleaner, then lubed them with Moly 60 (which I had not been able to get yet, but he had handy).

- Changed the final drive fluid. Nothing to do with taking the rear wheel off, just something I did.

- Reassembled everything, including putting air back in my rear tire (I forgot this step until I was ready to go home).

Plus some side lecturing about the common problem of treating the tightening of bolts as a "test of manhood"; the importance of getting a torque wrench and looking up the torque specs for key bolts on the bike; when to use WD-40 and when to use anti-seize grease when putting stuff back on; how to examine brake pads (mine were fine); and how shaft drives work (we also had bikes at the session with chain and belt final drives, mine was the only shaft driven one so it got to be the cadaver on the dissection table).

I did all my work successfully, or so I thought, and was already looking forward to my plans for next week's session: dealing with an overtorqued oil drain plug (which mine unfortunately is -- and my fault too), changing the brake fluid, changing the fork oil, and putting in Progressive springs in the front (the instructor suggested it even without me mentioning that I would like to do this based on the advice of this forum).

The shop session ended, and I had put everything back on in a manner satisfactory to the instructor. I sat on the bike and fired her up to ride her home.

Whoa. I was now sitting at least 2 inches lower than before, maybe three! My mirrors now showed me nothing but sky, even at the lowest angle, and gripping the handlebars felt like they were mini ape hangers. WTF did I do?

I got off and checked the rear suspension spring settings. Still set at 3 the way they'd always been.

I checked the tire pressure on my rear tire. A normal 32 PSI.

To make it even more fun, it began to pour rain... in buckets of four legged animals. Our shop work had been done outdoors in a parking lot with minimal cover, so the session was definitely over, see you all next week. I rode her home rather uncomfortably, since the grip position felt unnatural and I couldn't use either mirror for squat (not to mention dealing with the rain, but I had proper riding gear for wet weather at least).

I'll have nicer weather tomorrow to take a look at her. The instructor's last words to me on the subject were that I'd assembled everything back correctly and I'd done nothing that should have changed how the bike sat.

Given that, what should I look for? My first thought is I must have somehow let the air out of my rear shocks. I have a bike pump and will check it out in the morning. But I wonder how that could have been affected by what I did?

And, if it's not that... Any other ideas?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 10-24-2009 at 09:59 PM.
robardin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:12 PM
CWO3 Navy (Retired)
 
cliffhusn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 722
iTrader: (7)
 
I take it you put the lower bolts back in the shocks, you would have had to remove the lower bolts to remove the final drive unit. Other than that, there is nothing you could have done that would lower the bike that much. Are you sure the mirrors didn't get moved? I know, stupid and obvious questions, but not ones to be overlooked.

The Flag on my bike honors those who serve our Country and those who have served!
cliffhusn is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
Yes, everything I took out went back in... And it's not the mirrors alone, the handlebars also seem high, so it's definitely something being too low but I can't imagine how or what?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
robardin is offline  
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:22 PM
The Professor
 
lance328's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: BUFORD, GEORGIA
Posts: 3,147
iTrader: (15)
   
Some how your bars got pushed foreward, pull back hard on the bars and see if they move.


85 VN700 "Old Yella"

REBUILT ENGINE
CUSTOM PAINT
VANCE & HINES CRUZERS
EAR SHAVED AND RE-JETTED W/K&N'S
DUNLOP ELITE K591 FRONT & REAR
VOLTMETER
SYNTHETIC BRAKE FLUID
SYNTHETIC OIL & GEAR LUBE
PLEXISTAR 2 WINDSHIELD
SPLINES LUBED
ACCT'S GREASED W/TOC SPRINGS
COASTERD
LEATHER SADDLE BAGS
LEATHER TOOL AND ROLL BAG
PICKUP COILS GAPPED AT .018"
NGK CAP, WIRES, IRIDUMS
BARNETT FRICTION PLATES & SPRINGS
CUSTOM GRIPS, MIRRORS, LEVERS
ORIGINAL STATOR & R/R 14.5v
DEKA MF AGM ETX15L

Best Auto/Moto Insurance | Motorcycle Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote

Last edited by lance328; 10-25-2009 at 03:02 AM.
lance328 is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:39 PM
Old Truck Junkie
 
niterider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Roby Texas
Posts: 4,133
iTrader: (15)
 
If you see sky, the rear is higher than before.

02 honda sabre 1100
niterider is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
If you see sky, the rear is higher than before.
But the bars seem higher too. And the way I figure it, if the mirrors are level and I'm seeing higher, that can only mean I'm sitting lower because the angle is greater. If the mirror is fixed, the sky is fixed (so to speak), so the only thing that's changed is I'm further away from the sky, i.e., moved downwards, right?

It is possible (as lance328 suggests) that one of my assumptions here is wrong; the mirrors are not really fixed because they're attached to the bars, and it could be that the reason both the bars and the mirrors seem wrong is because the bars themselves have been pushed back to less of a rake angle than before. I don't really see how that's physically possible sitting here at my computer, because wouldn't that would require loosening stuff on the front of the bike, and everything I did was on the back end?

Hmm. That's not 100% true. I did spend about 5 minutes or so trying various different nut drivers, extensions and T-bars trying to get the side oil drain plug off before giving it up as stuck and dealing with it next week. The instructor told me to order a new plug by then, which I have, presumably we're going to be drilling the old one out or something. But maybe all that jerking around I did on the drain plug shifted something on the front end out of alignment. But then, wouldn't that suggest something was loose? If I can pull the bars up or down with just my arms, I would think going over the bumps and cracks in the road that are so common around NYC would be sending my bars up and down all the time.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
robardin is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:04 PM
Old Truck Junkie
 
niterider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Roby Texas
Posts: 4,133
iTrader: (15)
 
either the front went up or the rear went down???

02 honda sabre 1100
niterider is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Members who have donated towards server costs
 
robardin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
Posts: 344
iTrader: (0)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
either the front went up or the rear went down???
True enough. I will look at it more closely in the morning, when it's (a) daylight and (b) not pouring rain on me while I do so, and wanted to be armed with some ideas of what could have happened and how I could fix it.

Since I was only working on the back end, that seems the most likely source of the problem. However nothing I took off and put back, could really go back on wrong in a way to make the back end go down: the axle is where it is, the swing arm too, etc., etc... So, WTF?

As far as the front end, as I wrote, if the front end were loose enough to get jarred out of position by either fiddling with the back end or by jerking on an immobile oil drain plug, why wouldn't it be shifting around all the time?

One last thought. A few weeks ago I got new tires put on my bike, the old tires were shot from sitting in a garage for 4+ years, and I brought it in to a dealership mechanic put on Metzeler ME880s. (Where I will not go to again, but that's another story.) I hadn't checked the air pressure the dealership inflated the rear tire to before letting the air out of it to remove the rear tire, and when re-inflating it, simply used the manual spec of 32 PSI for the rear.

It did cross my mind that perhaps the stock air pressure is too low for the Metzelers and maybe I needed to add more air in the back. Before leaving the shop session, I inflated it to something absurdly high, like over 40 PSI, to see if it would make a difference. Nope. Gonna have to remember to deflate it back down to 32 PSI tomorrow.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 10-24-2009 at 10:19 PM.
robardin is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 11:40 PM
and the Adventure Cycle
 
hyperbuzzin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Western PA
Posts: 6,138
iTrader: (1)
   
The seat is attached to the frame, not the swingarm. There's really nothing I can think of that would make the bars and mirrors seem higher while sitting on the bike except for Lance's idea that the bars got pushed forward.

As for the possibility of a low inflated tire, unless you were just about riding on the rim, I wouldn't think even 15 pounds of air would make that much of a difference in what the mirrors show, and certainly wouldn't change how the bars feel.


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

Author Unknown
hyperbuzzin is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 12:50 AM
Senior Member
 
G3P0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MN West Mpls
Posts: 116
iTrader: (2)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lance328 View Post
Somehow you bars got pushed foreward, pull back hard on the bars and see if they move.

Maybe someone else moved your bars forward as a prank. If your rearend was sitting lower, and you did nothing with the front end, the angle of the mirrors would point lower and you'd be seeing ground, your bars wouldn't feel any different. Maybe somehow you didn't get the seat on right, that wouldn't explain seeing sky in the mirrors at lowest..


85 VN700 Project Bike
Earshave
R/R Relocate
Mustang Seat
Custom grill cover
Busted Engine... removed, split, waiting on parts
Cleaning up & painting the rest

Parts still needed... wanted...
11" shocks, or one stock
Aftermarket exhaust... eventually
Extended forward controls or custom hwy peg mounts for my cramped legs...

Last edited by G3P0; 10-25-2009 at 10:51 AM.
G3P0 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Once registered, your User Name"cannot be changed". We can make exceptions within 7 days, but after that, it is set in stone.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome