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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Flushing, NY
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.