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Discussion Starter #1
Was e-mailing with a member about the time that was quoted by a shop to do the rear spline (3hrs).
Well, I called the shop who did mine and the mech was not there but the young Kid who I talk to said that sounded about right,I told it didn't take that long to do mine with tires and he said I got a really good deal then as you have to take the whole back half of the bike apart to get at the front.I said you don't and we are talking the rear spline as you can pull back the boot to get at the fronts. No, it the front that go out the rears are not usually a problem.:BLAM: go figure.
 

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Not unusual, most bike/car/truck dealers are about clueless. A good one is an exception, not the norm.

Jon
 

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I have asked two different shops specifically to check the rear splines only to find out when I picked it up that they hadn't done it saying it's ok and doesn't need it yet. One of the times, tires were replaced and it still wasn't done. What do you have to do?! I have an '03 with 16,600 miles on it. I will be doing it myself hopefully this weekend. Got all the info from the Verses so hopefully all goes well!
 

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i think dealer mechanics deal too much with computer these days in cars.... and as far as motorcycles go, i dunno what they are learning, but it isnt much. I am to scared to go them anymore.... i'd rather do all my own work. that way if anyone screws up, its me. What is really scary is that all i use is my clymers man. and this web site, and for my jeep all i use is my haynes. that is all the training that i have besides a decent understanding of an engine.....maybe i should see just as a joke if a kawa dealer would hire me as a mechanic...
 

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When I bought my 02, the first thing I did was take it to a dealer in conroe to have new tires put on and have them check my splines. They didn't have any idea what I was talking about (splines lubed) and even though I tried to explain it (I didn't know that much then either) they changed the final drive oil and didn't check the splines.

They also pulled the exhaust off the bike to remove the rear wheel! I certainly didn't know any better then, but after I did my spline lube job, I emailed the manager at that conroe shop. He looked at my spline lube writeup and emailed me back thanking me for doing the writeup and being understanding with him! He said they would be using it. He and none of the techs there had any idea about that being a regular maintenance item for the 750. My local shop told me they had never heard of it being a problem from Kawasaki. They know now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Damn, Fergy, they should have put you on the payroll for that or at least cut you a deal on parts.
 

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I have used a Haynes or Chiltons manual for car repairs for years. I used the Kaw and Clymers for the bike. Other than watching my Dad who also has no formal mechanical training work on cars, that's about the only training I've had. I really think it all boils down to having the courage to try and tear something apart with the intent to fix it and put it back together. The fearful or less confident will never know the joy of fixing or solving a difficult maintenance problem.
I really think that with all the collective knowlege here on this site, someone could start their own business repairing 750s and be darn good at it.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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A Chill Up & Down My Spline

Sky Rider said:
I really think it all boils down to having the courage to try and tear something apart with the intent to fix it and put it back together. The fearful or less confident will never know the joy of fixing or solving a difficult maintenance problem.
I think you're absolutely right, Sky Rider.

What Woody shared in the first post on this thread is my recent experience with the service department at Honda/Kawasaki of Middletown, Ohio. It's a great dealership in a lot of ways, but my jaw hit the floor when they told me that lubing the splines (the full monty, and doing it right) was a 3-hour job. By contrast, Cindy told me that she did it herself in about an hour, including cleanup, following Fergy's step-by-step directions!

As I've written to several of you by e-mail, I find it difficult to fathom how this dry splines problem would persist year after year. I would think that Kawasaki, tired of customer complaints and warranty claims, would pay more attention to quality control. But I suppose most riders discover the problem long after the warranty has expired. (I already have 3,300 miles on my new bike. It makes me wonder what damage has already occurred, should my splines have arrived from the factory dry...)

I'm not very "handy." Up to this point, the only maintenance I've done on my bike is adjust the windshield, the throttle lock, and the foot brake tension! (Oh yeah, I've also topped off the coolant, checked the tire pressure, and washed the bike down a couple of times!) The idea of taking off the rear wheel, messing around inside the bike, putting the wheel back on, and then careening down the interstate seems crazy to me! So my natural inclination would be to pay someone else to do it. But hearing your stories makes me skeptical that it would be done right, if done at all.

On the other hand... Sky Rider would agree with Robert Pirsig who, in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, insists that it's critically important for one to be able (and, perhaps more important, willing) to maintain his/her own bike. He believes that our increasing tendency to hire out our work/problem-solving is leading to an increasing disconnection in our day-to-day world that he finds both alarming and tragic. Several of you have expressed this same idea to me, but more eloquently.

I've already been given excellent information and lots of encouragement from Cindy, Dianna, JM, Fergy, Woody, and Cegodsey. All I need is a few more tools, a little time, and that Clymer manual everyone keeps talking about. Then one cold rainy day I'll stay home, heat up the garage, and give it a go! If I suddenly quit posting one day, just assume that my back wheel fell off...
 

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And there he goes, ker-thump, ker-thump, kerrrrr-thump, ffffffffff, sliding down the road on his ....

If you can change the oil in your car, (or bike), you can do this. Think about it this way - there's this fork looking thing that goes to the back of the bike, and it has a hole in it. The axle bolt goes through the fork thing, then the wheel, then the fork thing again, then into a nut. The nut will have a sizable cotter pin through it, preventing it from coming off in the chance that you didn't torque the nut down enough. Unlike a chain or belt driven bike, there is no adjustment for alignment, so I would bet that if the nut is on and cotter pin in place, you'll need not worry about that wheel falling off. For a long time I used to use a nail instead of a pin, but that was with my little 185. And once I went without until I needed to adjust my chain again. Wasn't on purpose.

I wish I still had that book - Zen. I borrowed it from a friend and read almost all of it. I couldn't tell you a thing about it now, except that it's a good read, and more of a dunk in the philosophy well.

I just got through replacing the right rear hub in my wife's '98 Honda Accord. It was easy, but of course there were stumbling blocks to be had. The first was the axle nut. The biggest socket I had was for the bike axle, and my mechanic neighbor down the street only had SAE sockets - 1-1/4" was his biggest, but still not big enough. And no, I couldn't get a big crescent wrench in between the lug bolts, not that it would have helped. I ventured down to Autozone and picked up a 32mm - $15 and weighs about 10 lbs - then came home to check for fit. It fit. Then came the fun part. What is it with Ohio vehicles? We bought this in '05 off of eBay to replace the one that was totalled, and it sure seemed nice, only 70K miles! Nice except for the undercarriage. So what's with Cleveland? Haven't they heard that salt is bad for cars and the environment? Geezo-peezo. The first time I worked on it - to replace the rear pads - I snapped off two caliper bolts just trying to loosen them. Even had a guy at Sears tell my wife, "Hey lady, did you know that the whole bottom of the vehicle is rusted?"

Anyhow, I digress. So I've got my torque wrench on this big socket, and I pull. Way past the 200 lb limit for the wrench. Matter of fact, the wrench was looking more like a short bow, or a mini crossbow. So I tried spraying some WD40 on it and waited about 30 minutes. Came back, pull, pull, pull. No use. Now this torque wrench is an old Taiwanese cheapy from Kmart. Bought it back in the early 80's, so it wasn't like anything special. With that said, you can probably guess my next trick...I put both hands on the garage door for support, put my right foot on the torque wrench, and applied as much pressure as I could. Wow, could that wrench bend. I wonder how much it would take to snap that baby in half?... Now imagine this, a man is wheeled into the ER with the shaft of a torque wrench protruding from an area between his legs...

That didn't happen. Actually, the nut popped loose. I had to inspect it to make sure I didn't just snap the axle off, but it truly loosened. So all I had to do was take off the brake caliper, pop loose the disk brake, remove the hub and put a new one on. Except remember that rust problem? Those bolts holding the caliper to the wheel spindle had been removed before, but still posed a problem. So I stood up, got my breaker bar, slid it over my wrench and pulled. It's the ones that you don't prepare for that suddenly give. Down I went, on my various tools, grasping for something to slow my descent, which meant the lawn equipment beside me - tools go everywhere, weedeaters flying in front of me, a shovel, and a real embarassed look on my face when my wife opened the door to make sure I was alright.

And that was pretty much it. Pulled the old one off, slid the new one on, bolted everything back, mission accomplished! After giving up on replacing the brake pads last year, I wasn't about to let this hub thing get to me. And I conquered it. A little determination, a LOT of strength, some stupidity, and you can move mountains.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Falling on Your @$$

cegodsey said:
Unlike a chain or belt driven bike, there is no adjustment for alignment....
That's a very helpful piece of information. It's also comforting to know that with the nut tightened and the cotter pin in place the wheel won't fall off! That may be obvious to all of you "lugnuts" out there, but it's good news to me.

cegodsey said:
I wish I still had that book - Zen. I borrowed it from a friend and read almost all of it. I couldn't tell you a thing about it now, except that it's a good read, and more of a dunk in the philosophy well.
I've read it 2-3 times. It's a VERY good read, but a tough one. The philosophy sections are slow going, but fascinating.

cegodsey said:
What is it with Ohio vehicles?
I'm glad you mentioned one of the problems we face in the Rust Belt ~ road salt in the winter. I know that bikers need to watch for it because you can slip on it like sliding in gravel. But what is the effect of road salt on the bike itself? As I've said elsewhere, I plan to ride through the winter this year. Do I need to avoid those days when salt is on the road, both wet and dry? I don't want to be hosing my bike down very often during an Ohio winter!

cegodsey said:
So I stood up, got my breaker bar, slid it over my wrench and pulled. It's the ones that you don't prepare for that suddenly give. Down I went, on my various tools, grasping for something to slow my descent, which meant the lawn equipment beside me - tools go everywhere, weedeaters flying in front of me, a shovel, and a real embarassed look on my face when my wife opened the door to make sure I was alright.
That happened to me while doing yard work two summers years ago. I wanted to kill a huge, thick vine that was strangling one of our trees. I sawed through it above and below. I then grabbed it with both hands and yanked as hard as I could to try to loosen it. Of course, it gave way immediately and sent me sprawling backwards, down an embankment and into the creek. Like slipping on ice, it happened in the blink of an eye ~ one minute I'm standing by the tree, the next minute I'm sitting in the water, completely stunned. I was exceedingly lucky that I didn't hit my head on one of the rocks. But I did crack the upper part of my arm, which put me in a sling for a while. I begged the orthopedic surgeon to write a special doctor's order forbidding me from doing any further yardwork...
:doh:
 

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Down here they put down sand and in extreme circumstances, magnesium on the roads. Better for the enviro. I guess if you ride it that stuff, you need to have a hose ready to wash the underside of the bike when done for the day.
 

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There is no need to remove the exhaust to remove the rear wheel. Just remove the bottom shock bolts and remove the bottom of the shocks from the studs.
 

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Hey, Charlie!
These folks are right - if you put the bolts back on to the proper torque, and slide that cotter pin in the rear axle nut, you'll be fine. After I lubed my splines, I worried a tad over all the "what ifs." So I took a few small rides around town - just to be sure that things stayed where I'd last bolted them on. After a couple of those trips, I realized I'd done a fine job:notworthy , and just went from there.

The tough-to-remove bolt issues (and subsequent injuries to various body parts) are real, though you probably won't have any trouble, seeing as how your baby is still new. But if you have trouble loosening something, "look through the turn" before you crank down (or up) on your wrench - that is, envision what you *might* hit if the bolt were to suddenly come loose, and adjust your position (or put on body armor!) accordingly.
 

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Rubline - you forgot that you gotta remove the passenger foot peg triangles, or at least remove the bolts that connect the triangles to the goats belly.
 

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Just goes to show you, a little redneck engineering really does hurt sometimes. :) The satisfaction of completing the job however, outweighs the pain or embarassment.
Easy, if you follow fergy's fine step by step instructions, you can't go wrong on the spline lube job. It's easy, painless, and darn near fool proof. Just buck up and do it!!!
 

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Good point you bring up Cindy, about "looking through the turn".
At my job, I'm always working around sharp drills, end mills and stuff like that, so I always put a thick rag over them whenever I'm wrenching on something anywhere near them, just incase.
That's saved my hands more than a few times.
 
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