Driveshaft splines - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Driveshaft splines

I'd been reading about the need to check the driveshaft splines for grease, but my wife's bike is a 2004, it seemed that the factory MUST have gotten their act together after 19 years.

But I checked the splines anyway: dry as dust, both ends. No bad damage after 4800 mostly easy miles, but not a good comment on Kawasaki quality control. A few dabs of Honda moly paste and all is good.

I strongly recommend you check your splines, just for peace of mind. By the way, we took our first ride today, freshly greased splines humming happily.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 05:48 PM
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It's a good thing you checked. could have been a costly repair. Welcome to the group.


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
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ACCT'S GREASED W/TOC SPRINGS
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blevtr View Post
I'd been reading about the need to check the driveshaft splines for grease, but my wife's bike is a 2004, it seemed that the factory MUST have gotten their act together after 19 years.

But I checked the splines anyway: dry as dust, both ends. No bad damage after 4800 mostly easy miles, but not a good comment on Kawasaki quality control. ....

Well the bike is 4 years old, and as Kawasaki just uses regular grease, it is entirely possible it just got cooked off in the four years, and is not really a comment on Kawasaki quality control but really one of owner neglect...sorry, not trying to make you sound at fault here, but this is an area mentioned frequently for anyone that owns a shaft drive bike...not just the VN750.

Owners here will tell you that even if you just lubed the splines with Honda Moly 60 (as reccomended), four years would be too long before checking them again.

The only grease that I might bet was still present after 4 years would be the fairly expensive Krytox synthetic...but even if using it I would still check the condition at (very most) the 2 year mark.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 07:00 PM
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What about wheel bearing grease, can that be used?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 07:28 PM
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What about wheel bearing grease, can that be used?
It can, but is not reccomended....by owners. That is part of the problem , as Kawasaki, and others for that matter , actualy do use bearing grease at the assembly line for these parts. The high loads and tempatures they endure however is not condusive to bearing grease. There are "high temp" greases that do seem to fair well, but just about every forum that deals with some model of a shaft drive bike reccomends the use of a High Moly content grease (of at leat 60%)
If you read the Vulcan Verses here there are a few other options than Honda Moly 60, which is the one most readily available.

A quick little story here. When I took my FJR in for its 600 mile mandatory servie, I asked them to check the drive splines for the proper grease. (yes, it is not just Vulcans) The shop service tech said it was not part of the schedualed service...and that I would have to pay for the labor involved for them to do so. I countered with this proposal...if the splines were in fact lubed properly with the correct molly content grease, I would pay the labor costs...if however the splines were not lubed properly, then it would be considered a warrenty issue and I would should not have to pay for them doing something they should have done correctly to begin with.
When I went to pick up my bike, there was no charge for the spline lube.

The tech said although there was evidence of grease on the splines, it was a below the suggested mininum amount and was not a molly content grease. This on a $14,000 bike with only 600 miles on it. You'd think they'd have their "act together" too.......

If you have not at least looked at your splines...do so now before riding season begins...no matter how old your bike is or what the previous owner told you...

KM

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Last edited by Knifemaker; 02-08-2009 at 07:30 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:41 AM
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Good advice here.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 12:05 PM
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I keep hearing about this "spline lubing", and am getting nervous.

I got my VN750 last summer (early August) and have put over 2,000 miles on it since then. I did quite a few maintenance things on it, including getting the carbs cleaned/rejetted, replacing the tires, spark plugs, brake fluid, oil/filter, etc., but not this spline thing.

What would be the symptoms or warning signs of Dry Spline? Please don't tell me it's "you won't notice a thing until your bike seizes up at riding speed".

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
I keep hearing about this "spline lubing", and am getting nervous.

I got my VN750 last summer (early August) and have put over 2,000 miles on it since then. I did quite a few maintenance things on it, including getting the carbs cleaned/rejetted, replacing the tires, spark plugs, brake fluid, oil/filter, etc., but not this spline thing.

What would be the symptoms or warning signs of Dry Spline? Please don't tell me it's "you won't notice a thing until your bike seizes up at riding speed".
There are no symptoms of "dry" splines, only when damage has or is starting to occur. For piece of mind, check and lube.


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

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
What would be the symptoms or warning signs of Dry Spline?
Please don't tell me it's "you won't notice a thing until your bike seizes up at riding speed".
Well, that's about it. But it wont seize up. You just wont have any power getting to the rear wheel.
Some have said they had some power in 4th & 5th gear, but nothing in 1st-3rd. But that didn't last long until there was nothing at all.

Like it's been said......
CHECK THE SPLINES !!!!
Even if you do see lube in there, clean it out and re-lube. Then you have nothing to worry about!


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-11-2009, 08:32 AM
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Like it's been said......
CHECK THE SPLINES !!!!
Even if you do see lube in there, clean it out and re-lube. Then you have nothing to worry about!
Eh? Come again?

How often is this operation necessary/recommended? I checked the Verses and one sample write-up of the procedure mentioned that the writer was checking/re-lubing at 37,000, having last done so at 28,000 miles. Is that roughly the mileage needed to wear out the spline lube, or is it something that should be part of an annual spring maintenance regardless of how many miles one puts on a bike per year?

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