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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

My bike is a 2004. I was riding along the other day and as I was taking off from a parking lot, the motorcycle made a loud *KACHUNK!* sound. :doh: It didn't drive very well after that but I was able to make it down the road one block before it completely gave out. Now, whenever I simply put it in gear, I heard a grinding noise. I am thinking the transmission blew up.

I am quite the newbie when it comes to motorcycles. My question is if I have to have the transmission replaced, approximately how much might I be looking at for parts alone? I realize the labor will vary depending on where I take it but I am trying to gauge if it is even worth getting this fixed or saving that money towards a newer bike.

Thanks for your help!
Keith.
 

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1986 VN750
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3,255 Posts
Hello everyone!

My bike is a 2004. I was riding along the other day and as I was taking off from a parking lot, the motorcycle made a loud *KACHUNK!* sound. :doh: It didn't drive very well after that but I was able to make it down the road one block before it completely gave out. Now, whenever I simply put it in gear, I heard a grinding noise. I am thinking the transmission blew up.

I am quite the newbie when it comes to motorcycles. My question is if I have to have the transmission replaced, approximately how much might I be looking at for parts alone? I realize the labor will vary depending on where I take it but I am trying to gauge if it is even worth getting this fixed or saving that money towards a newer bike.

Thanks for your help!
Keith.
Did you ever lube the drive shaft splines? They could have sheered off. :(

They would be easier to check than internal engine parts. Just follow the spline lube procedure (I don't have a link on hand, searchable @ the top) and inspect your splines.
 

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Does the grinding come from beneath you, or behind you. If it is behind you (near the rear wheel), it might be the rear splines. Unfortunately, one of the big issues with our bikes comes from improper lube of the rear splines on the drive shaft. This is a factory issue, and if not checked/remedied, could result in the symptoms you described.

Search the forums for 'spline lube' for lengthy discussions about this problem (and a lazy Nebraska farm boy).

Hippie
 

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If you are saying when you put it in gear the bike makes noise and does not move...but makes no noise when you pull in the clutch or take it out of gear, you likely stripped the drive splines in the rear of the shaft.

For this you'll need a new/used drive shaft, and perhaps the drive coupler thingy in the final drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, everyone, for your replies. The problem sounds like it is beneath, not behind. There is no noise with the bike in neutral. Even while holding in the clutch, though, the bike makes a noise when put into gear.

Unfortunately I am not aware of the spines and the need to keep the lubricated, but it is something I will take a look at. I have a manual for the bike. I imagine it is mentioned in there?
 

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Giggity!
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If the sound is coming from below you, that can be deseeving. The drive shaft comes off the bevel gear (right below you) & with the shaft being not very long it can be hard to determine. I would remove the drive shaft & inspect it first. It is NOT very common for the actual transmission to faiul on this bike.
 

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Also even if the clutch lever is pulled in there is enough friction in the clutches to turn the drive shaft but in neutral it turns nothing .the most common transmission problem is usually shifter related and if it is dropping in gear it probably isn't transmission related. Kanuck is telling you right it may be deceiving as to where you think the noise is coming from.Put it on the centerstand and put it in gear and stand off to the side and listen closely,and while its up there pull off the wheel and final drive even if it is the trans you will have to do this eventually.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for your replies. The problem sounds like it is beneath, not behind. There is no noise with the bike in neutral. Even while holding in the clutch, though, the bike makes a noise when put into gear.

Unfortunately I am not aware of the spines and the need to keep the lubricated, but it is something I will take a look at. I have a manual for the bike. I imagine it is mentioned in there?

All shaft drive bikes have "splines" that need to be lubricated. The owners manual only mentions it in the Periodic Maintance Schedule.

Usually if something let's go in the transmission it makes noise all the time. If you put it in gear and the bike no go...it be the splines, as you'd have to strip off every tooth from a gear to keep it from not getting turned.

Trust us. Some of us have gone through the same thing. As I'm not there to examine it, I would not totally dimiss it as a gearbox issue.... But I'd put money on it being the drive splines....:)
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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Unfortunately I am not aware of the spines and the need to keep the lubricated, but it is something I will take a look at. I have a manual for the bike. I imagine it is mentioned in there?
Maybe that explains why you have been a member since 2008 and yet only have 2 posts to your credit. The splines are the number one recommendation that everyone tells you about when you first introduce yourself under the newbie thread. That may be the most written about subject on this forum. It is not overly difficult to check and to lube yourself by following the outline that can be located on here by using the "search" tab found in the upper portion of the home forum page. I wish you good luck and hope the splines are not the actual problem after all the information given on this forum concerning that particular weak spot in the Vulcan. It is repeated so often because of the importance of the issue in maintaining a safe and reliable machine. Good luck.

I am not trying to put anyone down but rather wish to put emphasis on the excellent information available here if anyone is really interested. I have learned so much and continue to realize how much I don't know about the Vulcan but can learn from just reading and asking questions. Maintenance manuals are on free download and the search tab is ready to point out a wealth of knowledge just by the simple click of the mouse and keyboard.
 

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Well there's likely a whole host of members that don't really come here until they have a problem..........
and some of us just lurk around here a lot too ;)
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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Well there's likely a whole host of members that don't really come here until they have a problem..........
I just thought it was a shame that some great information is available for free and there was access since 2008 but was never taken advantage of except two times. Again I am not trying to put anyone down for their personal choices but it seems like a waste. I wish I could find this much free knowledge on some other subjects like how to win the Mega Millions Lottery and pay zero taxes just for starters. This has to be a special forum with so many people actively participating even after moving on to another rides.
 

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I have had a little, and I mean a very little bit of oil coming from the chrome cap on the gearbox. It doesn't even drip, just a little bit of oil accumulated around the bottom of the chrome cap. I know there is a seal in there, I was just wondering how hard this is going to be to change as looking at the exploded view of it, it looks fairly difficult, but so did the exploded view of the splines and that was a piece of cake. I have searched and found a little info on it. Thank yall for any knowledge you may be able to share on this particular procedure.
 

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1986 VN750
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I have had a little, and I mean a very little bit of oil coming from the chrome cap on the gearbox. It doesn't even drip, just a little bit of oil accumulated around the bottom of the chrome cap. I know there is a seal in there, I was just wondering how hard this is going to be to change as looking at the exploded view of it, it looks fairly difficult, but so did the exploded view of the splines and that was a piece of cake. I have searched and found a little info on it. Thank yall for any knowledge you may be able to share on this particular procedure.
I do not know, but I'd start a separate thread on the subject so more people will see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Vulcan2000, with such warm hospitality, you have left me wondering why I didn't ask questions or peruse this site more extensively earlier. To each his own. GFY.
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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Wow, someone hit a nerve. The trouble with printed text is it's easy to misinterpret the inflection or attitude of the poster. I don't think Vulcan2000 meant anything ill but I think I might have been rubbed the wrong way by the perceived tone of the post if this was my thread. The info on this site is overwhelming and that's why people ask so much over and over about the same things. They don't do it to piss us off or because they're lazy, (well most don't IMO) but many don't know intuitively about searching the site. Just point them in the right direction, wish them well and be done with it. Someone had to tell me about using the google search on this site, and I'm an IT tech. Just didn't think of it at first. Peace.
 

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Just because he hasn't posted doesn't mean that he hasn't used the site. I mean how many times have people told others to "search" for their answer instead of asking a repeat question? I search and if I can't find my answer then I'll ask. Other wise, I just trolling. :)
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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Just because he hasn't posted doesn't mean that he hasn't used the site. I mean how many times have people told others to "search" for their answer instead of asking a repeat question? I search and if I can't find my answer then I'll ask. Other wise, I just trolling. :)
My point was that if you read this forum more than a few times you have to see that there is constant reference to the spline lube procedure and how it is of the utmost importance for any new Vulcan owners. What is written to each and every newbie when they post their first introduction? "Hey, everyone is always talking about the spline lube over and over again. Maybe I should investigate that subject a little more before I ignore it from 2008 to 2012." I feel sorry if he missed the importance of the procedure especially if it that is what his present problem really is. That is what I am saying. Members here go out of their way to help anyone and everyone with their vast experience and knowledge and I believe it is a shame if someone runs into a problem that could have easily been avoided. I do agree that they have every right to ignore anything mentioned here and can decide what to do or not do with their own motorcycle. I hate to see anyone get screwed for no reason.
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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Vulcan2000, with such warm hospitality, you have left me wondering why I didn't ask questions or peruse this site more extensively earlier. To each his own. GFY.
I did not mean to ruffle any feathers. I apologize if my posts seemed negative towards you. That was not my purpose. I am feeling bad that you may have been able to avoid your current problem and could possibly be out riding more rather than wondering what is wrong and how to fix that without too much time and expense. We all want to avoid problems and ride more because the Vulcan is just a fun ride. Good luck.
 

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Vulcan2000, with such warm hospitality, you have left me wondering why I didn't ask questions or peruse this site more extensively earlier. To each his own. GFY.
Really?You seem to have rather thin skin my friend.And if the part of your statement I highlighted in red were possible,I mean actually possible,and observing what seems to motivate most men.Most would never leave the house,for anything..well maybe food,Therefore there would be no need for bikes or no computers a whole host of things men would have no use for.So I think that last part is a bad idea, even IF you have figured it out :doh:
 
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