Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 148 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

As this is the first thread for this post, I'll reprint the core thought of what was posted and discussed in depth in later posts at the yahoo vn750 group ( http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/VN750 )- starting at post 53107.

The bike has less than 8k miles on it and as per the advice of this board I decided to get myself some Honda 60% moly and check out my drive shaft splines just for the heck of it. I was amazed at what I found. The coupling drive shaft is almost completly worn down - and I don't drive the bike that hard.

I found NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of any grease that was ever applied to the splines. The coupler cost almost $90 to replace and the final drive is almost $1000 !!! The spline gear on the final drive is NOT replaceable or should I say is not a replacement part from Kawasaki. The entire final drive assembly has to be purchased.


Please see the 4 pics I posted under mainevulcan at the yahoo vn750 group to see the splines.
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group...c=gr%26.view=t

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post #2 of 148 (permalink) Old 06-22-2004, 10:21 AM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

Bottom line for anyone who has bought either new or used...
1. Kawasaki recommends lubing the drive splines @ 6000mi. IF YOU HAVE A NEW BIKE, EITHER DO THE MAINTENANCE YOURSELF OR GET THE DEALER TO SPECIFICALLY DO THIS AS PART OF YOUR 6000MI CHECKUP (preferrably sooner). THEY PROBABLY WILL NOT PERFORM THIS UNLESS YOU 'REMIND' THEM THAT IT IS SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE.
2. If you have bought used, GET THE REAR WHEEL OFF ASAP AND CHECK THIS. It is pretty easy to do, requires no special tools other than a Clymer's manual.
Ultimately, it is our responsibility as owners to ensure our rides are taken care of. This is standard maintenance for any shaft driven bike, often overlooked. On the VN750 it is relatively easy....

john m
Somewhere deep in OH....
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post #3 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-04-2004, 09:40 PM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

'99 with 8k mi. After looking at all info ya'll put out over the
last 6 mo, I tackled this job tonight. Put the bike on the
centerstand, removed the axle nut with my 12" Crescent wrench
getting it between the swingarm and the stock pipe.
Removed both shocks and swingarm came down, but lower right shock
mount/bolt hit the pipe. Loosened all three 10mm bracket bolts
where the goat and pipe mount on the right. Flexed outward enough
to let the swingarm fall with the axle just below the pipes. Tapped
out the axle with a hammer.
Removed right side spacer and removed brake/hub to frame arm bolt
and hardware attaching brake rod to hub.
Pulled wheel to right and with it loose, cocked it 30 degrees inside
the swingarm.
Loosened 4 bolts on rear spline housing and pulled whole unit out.
Pulled wheel out from between swingarm.
Was happy to see lots of grease (don't think it was moly though) on
rear unit.
Pulled off left side panel and popped off rear of rubber boot at
it's top at front of swingarm/driveshaft. Held it open at the top
with large screwdriver and shine flashlight inside. Not happy to
see no grease or lube of any kind on front spline or U-joint; dry as
a bone and a tiny bit of rust/corrosion on the front splines.
Condition of the metal is fine.
Stick a toothbrush into the cylinder of Honda Moly 60 grease and
insert it into cavity and brush on grease to the front spline while
turning the shaft with hand at the back. Get a reasonable amount of
grease on the front spline. Then take my Honda Spray lithium grease
and spray the front U-joint while turning the shaft at the back.
Then button up the rubber boot at the front.
In the back, take plastic teaspoon and load it up helping wise with
grease and put down the hole where the spring was and the rear
spline goes into the shaft. Do this again. Put the spring back
into the hole.
Put the wheel between the swingarm at 30 degrees and put the rear
unit back on its 4 bolts. Push on it and tighten the bolts in a
criss cross fashion till snug. Tighten with torque wrench to 17.5
ft-lbs.
Do a reverse of other steps above - axle tightens to 80 ft-lbs.


All finished. Before putting on the shocks and the axle was at
lowest point, I was able to fit my 27mm socket on the nut and torque
it to 80 ft-lbs. Then I put the shocks back on, right side first,
and torqued their acorn nuts to 22 ft-lbs. Last was to tighten the
10mm right side pipe/passenger foot peg bracket 3 nuts and then
install the left side cover. Done until 18k mi.

Went pretty well for me.
rgds
Mike
'99 in Nawlins'


rgds to you and yours,

Mike

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post #4 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 10:21 AM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

Mike..great write-up. This is a fairly uncomplicated, yet often overlooked maintainence item.
Did you do the splines between the rear wheel hub and the final gear case? They should get a light coat of Moly also. Clymer's also suggests you brush a little grease between the inner & outer (the spinning part) of the rear wheel hub. Not as mission-critical as the shaft splines, but should be done periodically anyway.
When I did mine, I 'indexed' the hub and final gear case as well as the splines inside. I did this so I could re-mesh the splines and the hub they same way they came off...I figured the meshing of the gears would be smoother this way. Anal, I know, but some riders in the BMW forums I lurk in have found that in a shaftie, the wheel could rotate 'out of perfect balance' because of the wear incurred after 10,000mi on the splines....

john m
Somewhere deep in OH....
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post #5 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 12:23 PM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

Just left out one (but important) step that I'm sure you actually did. Install NEW cotter pin in axle nut and bend tabs into place. :-)

MokiMan
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post #6 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 05:29 PM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

Yep, thanx for the reminders for all.
I did do those lubing steps. Was able to find a big cotter pin for axle nut.
Also there's the new (little) cotter pin on bolt/nut on hub which has the arm connecting to frame to keep brake hub stationery.

From my racing days, I was taught to only bend the longest arm of the cotter pin back around the nut and leave the short end alone.
I suppose there's probably other opinions. I read a book by Hurricane Bob Hannah's mechanic in the 70's and probably got some of my wrenching ideas from it. I also learned how to safety wire a racer, but that's another story.

I like the idea of indexing the two parts so the gears go together again the same as they came out. Wish I had thought of it myself, but say-la-vee !!!

rgds to you and yours,

Mike

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post #7 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 06:37 PM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

That is all good stuff above. I'll just add a couple comments.
The reason (at least this time) that Kaw won't sell just the gear is that they are hand,custom built using shims to match up perfectly the pinion gears. Done (of course) at the factory. I suppose someone skilled and knowledgeable enough could do it himself, but most would just have a mess in a few miles.
When my final drive went, I also found my splines at the front bevel gear case were dry as a bone. They were in good shape, though. I think most of the wear at the rear coupling comes from the in-out, rather than the round & round .... this doesn't happen up front. Am I wrong?
BTW: Ron Ayers had that coupling for $50 and I found the final drive (with 4k miles on it) on ebay for $120.

grambo


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post #8 of 148 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

A final drive with 4k miles for only $120 ?? Heck, if I came across that I'd buy one just to have as a spare and save the $800 + dollars Kawasaki wants for a new one. If you needed it, I'm glad for you that you found one. My butt was saved just because I was still under warrantee - but then again it should have been lubed from the factory to begin with.

Norm " mainevulcan "
Mid-Coast of Maine
2002 Vulcan 750
Lots of homemade mods
Hardly anything "official" aftermarket

http://www.angeltowns2.com/members/norman/
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post #9 of 148 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 06:57 PM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

We (VROCers) have determined that molybdenum disulfide grease is essentail for the final drive splines. But what about splines inside the housing? The ring type gears. Should they be also lubed with MD?
Bob
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post #10 of 148 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 08:56 AM
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Re: Check your drive splines ASAP if you have not already done so

Quote:
Originally Posted by choppbobby
We (VROCers) have determined that molybdenum disulfide grease is essentail for the final drive splines. But what about splines inside the housing? The ring type gears. Should they be also lubed with MD?
Bob
....yes.
Moly on the wheel hub-FD mating gears, on & in the shaft/FD coupling, the front splines, and even on the U-joint if you can get some there.
IIUC, Moly adheres to metal better than anything but Krytox, so why not use the best stuff you can get while you're dong the job.

john m
Somewhere deep in OH....
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