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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/vn750/lst?.dir=/mainevulcan&.src=gr&.order=&.view=t&.done=http%3a//photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/vn750/lst%3f%26.dir=/%26.src=gr%26.view=t

 

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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....
 

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'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'

 

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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....
 

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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. :)
 

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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 !!!
 

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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


grambo
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

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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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choppbobby said:
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.
 

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Thanks for the reply John.
I've got the bike torn down for maintenance including the rear end.
I've used MD on the drive shaft splines, but never thought about using it on
the wheel hub or u-joint.
Bob
 

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I checked mine and found my worst nightmare. A red powder and hardly any splines on the final drive and drive shaft. Have only had the bike ten months with 16,000 miles on it. I am going to find a way to find a "field fix" for this ongoing problem. Once I do, I will post it. I went back to the dealer where I purchased the bike and talked to the service dept. These guys had no clue and have never heard of it and wont do it as part of maintenence. The manager on duty was going to check it out and come to this web page.
 

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vulcan750biker said:
I checked mine and found my worst nightmare. A red powder and hardly any splines on the final drive and drive shaft. Have only had the bike ten months with 16,000 miles on it. I am going to find a way to find a "field fix" for this ongoing problem. Once I do, I will post it. I went back to the dealer where I purchased the bike and talked to the service dept. These guys had no clue and have never heard of it and wont do it as part of maintenence. The manager on duty was going to check it out and come to this web page.
...biker, sorry to hear this. Did you buy your ride new??

Yup...no clue. I think alot, if not most, dealers and so called 'techs' are clueless abt this crucial maintenance, which should be done well before the Kaw recomendation of 6000mi, IMHO. Mine wasn't, that's for sure.
And it should be obvious to the casual tech/maint. department that a shaft driven bike with a drive system as basic as the VN750 must be lubricated periodically...and should be part of any 'in-warrantee' service you bring to them for, ESP before 6000mi. But if you don't bring it to them for service before 6k, they can't check the splines, even if they are savvy enough.
From my personal experience, this is the problem.
We, as riders/owners are ultimately responsible for the care of our rides...but we (some of us) depend heavily on the dealer. I know I did (the 750 being my first shaftie), thus did not ask mine about this when I brought my ride in @600mi, then 3000mi then 6000mi then 11800mi for in warrantee checkups. Why???
My own ignorance (solved that problem) and the fact that their 'Warrantee Service Checklist' says they..."performed all maintenance as per the Kawasaki Service Manual". Obviously, they did not, as mine looked just like you describe when it blew up @20000mi (going 60mph, btw)
That's why they bought me a new drive shaft, coupler & final drive! (about $1500, I paid for labor).
You might be looking at the same repair....
Bottom line...if you took it to them for 'in-warrantee' checkups (esp before 6000mi), and they never heard of this maintanence, you may have some leverage. Educate them (so sad..)..have them open up the Service Manual and read it for themselves.
If you've never had it back to them, you're probably sol...unless there has been a recall or tech bulletin that covers this.
Field fix??? Everyone who owns a 750 should get that back wheel off asap and check, then get on a reg schedule to do this themselves.
As far as Kaw and it's dealers are concerned...good luck.
 

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I just checked mine last weekend and found rust. I took pictures and took them in to my dealer. The mechanic there knew exactly what I drove when I showed him the pictures.
 

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Sounds like you might have a good mechanic then.. At least he had a clue. ;-)

RB

Knuckles said:
I just checked mine last weekend and found rust. I took pictures and took them in to my dealer. The mechanic there knew exactly what I drove when I showed him the pictures.
 

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Hi,

New member. I'm scanning the various posts. THis one about the drive Caught my attenion.

I got my new 2002 VN 750 from dealer in '03. I Have 12,159miles on it.

I asked dealer maint. Supvr about lubing the drive shaft when I asked about doing the 6K miles service.

He told me it's Not needed now and to wait until I replace the Rear tire.
I'm 135# soaking wet, ride solo. At 12,159K miles, my stock(Dunlop) rear tire is still Good. I paid for the 6K miles service and now, I find out the MOST important task should have been done but was Not. I have Extended warrenty too, that expires Aug 2006.

The dealer of purchase has since sold him dearlership to a Big Corp group in my area who has ALL the Big 4 bike Mfgrs.

Do I have any recourse about this work not done (Kawa Corp, have another dearlership do it no cost)?
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I do oil/oil-filter, air-filter, chng plugs. But don't know how to do carb synch, set timing.

I have been and still have grease thrown onto the rear rim . So I would think this indicates there's still grease in there. Ans I see grease on the edges of the wheel hub where the two parts fit together.
-----------------------
Are there any 750 owners in my area -N. Calif. Bay Area- Newark, who could help me?
I'll pay you for your time.
 

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Full Tank said:
Hi,

New member. I'm scanning the various posts. THis one about the drive Caught my attenion.

I got my new 2002 VN 750 from dealer in '03. I Have 12,159miles on it.

I asked dealer maint. Supvr about lubing the drive shaft when I asked about doing the 6K miles service.

He told me it's Not needed now and to wait until I replace the Rear tire.
I'm 135# soaking wet, ride solo. At 12,159K miles, my stock(Dunlop) rear tire is still Good. I paid for the 6K miles service and now, I find out the MOST important task should have been done but was Not. I have Extended warrenty too, that expires Aug 2006.

The dealer of purchase has since sold him dearlership to a Big Corp group in my area who has ALL the Big 4 bike Mfgrs.

Do I have any recourse about this work not done (Kawa Corp, have another dearlership do it no cost)?
------------
I do oil/oil-filter, air-filter, chng plugs. But don't know how to do carb synch, set timing.

I have been and still have grease thrown onto the rear rim . So I would think this indicates there's still grease in there. Ans I see grease on the edges of the wheel hub where the two parts fit together.
-----------------------
Are there any 750 owners in my area -N. Calif. Bay Area- Newark, who could help me?
I'll pay you for your time.
FT...I don't know about recourse, and I certainly don't want to alarm you or anybody, but I would pay the 2hrs labor it should take and get someone to check those splines ASAP, if you're not ready to do the job yourself.
If you were actually savvy enough to ask about this at your 6k service...kudos!!

Your 'Maint Supervisor' is a fool and another example of the poor knowledge/service out there. It clearly states in the Kaw service manual to check this at 6000mi...good on ya for asking him about it!

I (and a lot of others) didn't....the rest is history. You've read the posts... Waiting to replace your rear tire before these splines are checked (esp since they haven't been checked at 6k like they should have been) is risky and could be dangerous! Your stock Dunlops lasted longer than my stock Stones, but my first set of Metzeler880s lasted me over 22000mi!
How long would you want to wait????

The grease being flung on your rear wheel is (hopefully) NOT from the splines in question....it is from the wheel hub - final drive mesh gears...they are OUTSIDE of the final drive. No big deal...just a bit too much grease applied there. I say 'hopefully not' because the only way you could be seeing grease from the splines in question is if the O-ring that holds all the grease inside the coupler (buried inside the swingarm) has come loose/deteriorated and grease has leaked past the bevel gear into the final drive housing and out of the vent hole on top of the FD and onto your wheel....This would be WAY BAD!!! So your grease on the wheel is NO indication of any lube still being on the splines in question!

Fortunately...the above type of leaking is probably next to impossible. Not for the O-ring to break mind you, but for the grease to leak out this way. Most likely, you would see grease 'leaking' right at the connection between the FD and the swingarm, not on the wheel.
The splines in question...the CRUCIAL, neglected area, are the splines that connect the final drive to the driveshaft, via a coupler. These are hidden in swingarm tube...the rear wheel must be removed, and the FD taken off the swingarm.
I'd take the OM into the dealer and show them this maint requirement....educate them! Then pay for the service...you'll ride much more confidently.
Chances are, you did not pay for all the labor/parts necessary to do this anyway on your 6k service....most times the dealer will just do the routine stuff, charge you 1 1/2hrs or so, and that's it. That's how I got a brand new FD, shaft and coupler at 20000mi from my dealer...NO WAY did they spend or charge me enough time at my 500, 3000, 6000 or 12000mi services...no way. They admitted it...
Get it checked ASAP...
Rant off!
 

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I found some moly grease at my local part store but it doesn't say what the % of moly it is, so my question is should I get it at $3 for 14 oz tube or spend the $10 for 3 oz tube at the honda shop?
 

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Tigger82d said:
I found some moly grease at my local part store but it doesn't say what the % of moly it is, so my question is should I get it at $3 for 14 oz tube or spend the $10 for 3 oz tube at the honda shop?
I would guess that the inexpensive 14oz stuff probably would not contain the (at very least) 55~60% moly you want. Go for the good stuff....
 
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