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Spline lube symptom?


Knobby10

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Knobby10

Any symptoms show up indicating the splines need lubed? I don't remember lubing drive shaft splines on cars and they are not shielded as they are on the RT. I just wonder if it's such a big deal on an RT, I get it on a GS but not on an RT that has seen little water or any off pavement riding. I will anxiously wait to get "enlightened" by forum members. 

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dirtrider
18 minutes ago, Knobby10 said:

Any symptoms show up indicating the splines need lubed? I don't remember lubing drive shaft splines on cars and they are not shielded as they are on the RT. I just wonder if it's such a big deal on an RT, I get it on a GS but not on an RT that has seen little water or any off pavement riding. I will anxiously wait to get "enlightened" by forum members. 

Afternoon Knobby10

 

No real symptoms, but some do seem to come from the factory with very little lube applied. 

 

It really isn't a big deal UNTIL you need to take it apart for some reason, if you have one with little factory lube, and/or one that has boots that allows moisture in, then you could end up with a rusty corroded mess that is extremely difficult to take apart & is a corroded mess once you do get it apart. 

 

At the very least (given your dry operating conditions)  I suggest that you pull the rear boot loose then see what that rear spline joint area looks like inside the rear boot.  

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So would you say that if the rear splines look great, there is no particular reason to pull the shaft and look at the front ones? (I'm new to my wethead, but have owned other BMWs since the mid-80s.)

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dirtrider
52 minutes ago, cookie said:

So would you say that if the rear splines look great, there is no particular reason to pull the shaft and look at the front ones? (I'm new to my wethead, but have owned other BMWs since the mid-80s.)

Afternoon  cookie

 

As a rule the front is usually better than the rear as it is higher & drier. 

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Alfred02

It seems really sporadic. There were 2018 GS/GSA bikes with such high rust, that they needed driveshaft/final drive replacement, while at least one GS/GSA which was a 2014 model showed the rear to be in mint condition.

As mine is the original 2014 with very low mileage, I will be checking it soon, once a ton of tools and parts arrive. They are coming from all over the world, so ETA for the work is completely unknown.

So yes, I agree, if you want to check it, then personally I would be reluctant to pull the boot back, unless you have that expensive assembly grease " Staburacs NBU 30PTM". (One of the items I am waiting for, coming from the USA). Because once you pull back that boot, you now have broken the seal that might have been perfect and now you introduce a problem that didn't actually exist.

The other alternative is to buy a USB Bluetooth Endoscope camera that you can use with any iPhone/Android phone and use the large cutout underneath in the final drive to have a peak. They don't give you the best vision, but should be good enough to see if there is any large issue.

 

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2 hours ago, Alfred02 said:

The other alternative is to buy a USB Bluetooth Endoscope camera that you can use with any iPhone/Android phone and use the large cutout underneath in the final drive to have a peak. They don't give you the best vision, but should be good enough to see if there is any large issue.

 

Sorry to tell, that “cut out” doesn’t give you access to the drive shaft and rear drive spline area. The only way to access it is through the rubber boot. 

I am not sure what special tools you think you need to be able to drop the rear drive (swing down)?

It is a simple process. After finding out that my rear u-joint and spline where rusted together at 6,000 miles on my 2018 RT,  I have been re-lubing it every 12,000 miles. 
And no I don’t do river crossings or use a pressure washer to clean the bike. 
Boxflyer has a video to explain and demonstrate on how to do it.

 

 

 

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severely

I looked at my 14 RT at 48K mikes and found the RD stuck to the driveshaft. I got it loose via WD40 and jumping on the rear brake hard a couple times, apparently first owner never got on the rear brake hard enough to make the splines go back and forth. After disassembly/ cleaning I lubed it up and plan to check/lube every other rear tire change. My dealer tells me they've had to replace the RD AND driveshaft on some that were stuck too badly. 

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Alfred02
5 hours ago, Bernie said:

Sorry to tell, that “cut out” doesn’t give you access to the drive shaft and rear drive spline area. The only way to access it is through the rubber boot. 

I am not sure what special tools you think you need to be able to drop the rear drive (swing down)?

It is a simple process. After finding out that my rear u-joint and spline where rusted together at 6,000 miles on my 2018 RT,  I have been re-lubing it every 12,000 miles. 
And no I don’t do river crossings or use a pressure washer to clean the bike. 
Boxflyer has a video to explain and demonstrate on how to do it.

 

 

 

Yes, I forgot that the boot seals all the way.

No, the special tools are to do a more extensive service. These tools include BMW crankshaft Lock, Camchain Tensioner and the Camshaft locking tool to insure that the camshaft sprockets are timed properly.

For material I have a set of Rocker cover gaskets, spark plugs, final drive oil etc.

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simskid

Question re spline lube...On my 09 RT I dropped the rear drive and the drive shaft came with it.  After about 8 hours of work and disassembly.  I was able to get the drive shaft back in place - couldn't just push it back in the drive shaft housing.   I now have a 16 RT.  I hesitate to drop the final since I had such a problem on the 09.  Should I have the same concern on the 16 if the drive shaft comes loose while dropping the final or can the drive shaft be push back into place?

 

Thoughts?

 

John

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2 hours ago, Alfred02 said:

Follow this thread: r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial

I know it talks about the GS/GSA's but our bikes are literally the same. We just have to add removing the muffler to get the rear wheel off.

Yes Jim been on this for many years.  If you look through the 85 pages you will see all kinds of various states of FD.  Including new 1250's.

 

This has been going on forever not just the last year or two.

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Forester

John,

I suggest you watch the very nicely done video by Box Flyer on the process of lubing the rear splines.  The video is more comprehensive than just that, Brad talks a lot about other items to look for while you are performing this process...especially the importance of ensuring that the rubber boot is property snapped in place.  To address your other concern, when Brad drops the rear housing,  the engine side of the shaft comes out because the rear end of the spline is somewhat stuck in the rear drive.  No problem, he just pushes on the drive shaft and it "snaps" back into place on the engine side.  No big deal.  Brad's bike is a 2016RT, so it's your same model year (as it is mine).  

 

Here are Brad's videos on YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/user/Boxflyer11

Forester

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simskid

Forester,

 

Thanks a ton.  The answer I was looking for.  Couldn't just push the 09 driveshaft back into place.  I've traded em's with Brad- he lives close by as well.  All good.

 

Thanks again!  Love this site!

 

JOhn

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/17/2021 at 9:03 AM, Knobby10 said:

Any symptoms show up indicating the splines need lubed?.... I just wonder if it's such a big deal on an RT, ....

 

I have a new-to-me 2019 R1250RT with 8000 miles, and allegedly a dealer-performed service at 6000 miles.  The 6k service seems believable partly because the Hayes brakes had been replaced with Brembos when I picked it up in Chicago to ride it home to Colorado.  

 

So, today, I tried to drop the final drive and lube the splines.  And discovered that it is rusted solid.  The good news is that the final drive fluid was very clean -- suggesting again that the dealer might have replaced it at 6k.  On my 2017 RT, I dropped the FD at 10k miles, and it was lightly stuck, but came apart with some persuasion.  I applied the appropriate lube, and since then, I have checked it a few times, and it always slips apart easily.  

 

As an aside, the rubber boot on the 2019 was not properly sealed with Staburags NBU30.  The same was true on the 2017 when I first checked it.  On the 2017, I use a liberal amount of it, and it seals nicely between service intervals.

 

My 2019 is still under warranty, but I suspect that this will not be considered a warranty item.  In any case, I think the lesson for all of us who own BMW's of this vintage and want to keep them for awhile, is to drop your final drives early, and do whatever it takes to inhibit rusting over their normal service life.

 

Cap

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2021 at 9:44 PM, Cap said:

 

I have a new-to-me 2019 R1250RT with 8000 miles, and allegedly a dealer-performed service at 6000 miles.  The 6k service seems believable partly because the Hayes brakes had been replaced with Brembos when I picked it up in Chicago to ride it home to Colorado.  

 

So, today, I tried to drop the final drive and lube the splines.  And discovered that it is rusted solid.  The good news is that the final drive fluid was very clean -- suggesting again that the dealer might have replaced it at 6k.  On my 2017 RT, I dropped the FD at 10k miles, and it was lightly stuck, but came apart with some persuasion.  I applied the appropriate lube, and since then, I have checked it a few times, and it always slips apart easily.  

 

As an aside, the rubber boot on the 2019 was not properly sealed with Staburags NBU30.  The same was true on the 2017 when I first checked it.  On the 2017, I use a liberal amount of it, and it seals nicely between service intervals.

 

My 2019 is still under warranty, but I suspect that this will not be considered a warranty item.  In any case, I think the lesson for all of us who own BMW's of this vintage and want to keep them for awhile, is to drop your final drives early, and do whatever it takes to inhibit rusting over their normal service life.

 

Cap

I also have a 2019 RT. Had dealer do the 600 mi. service. At around 5k, I wanted to do the final fluid again and dropped the final to check/lube the splines. Mine weren't rusted...But mostly dry and was a little tough to separate driveshaft from final. Nice coat of moly paste and lubed the boot. Just recently did it again (at about 15k) and everything looked great.  So  agree.....Check em' early.

 

Also do my 2009 GSA every 10k.  68,000 miles....all original and everything tight.

 

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/7/2021 at 7:44 PM, Cap said:

 

My 2019 is still under warranty, but I suspect that this will not be considered a warranty item….


 

I finally got my bike to the local dealer.  They were booking appointments more than a month out.  And it did take quite a bit of haggling and escalation before I was able to leave the bike with an expectation that they would address the rusted final drive.  Their first salvo was from the GBC, guy behind the counter.  His take was that it would cost me $500 for them to diagnose the problem, which would be my cost, and only then would they consider asking BMW to treat it as a warranty repair.

 

After I declined that solution, I ended up dealing directly with the service manager, and eventually agreed to pay them $200 if BMW decided not to honor their warranty.

 

we shall see…. Cap

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And that is a shame. 

 

Why would you need to pay for them to look at a bike with issues under warranty?

 

Sage advice for all on lubing the spines and sealing the boot.  I did it on my 15 RT first thing and my 17.5 GS at 600 miles.

 

I keep telling all who will listen that this should be a 24k service point after doing it as new.  There is no rhyme or reason on bikes being affected so doing it new IMHO is a must leaving a 24k inspection and reseal the boot.

 

My 600 mile GS FD.

 

gs+fd+splins.JPG

 

 

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2 hours ago, LAF said:

Why would you need to pay for them to look at a bike with issues under warranty?

 

The dealer was taking the position that since the final drive spline is not part of scheduled maintenance, then it is not subject to warranty unless the splines have sheared off.  Of course, most owners won't put enough miles on their motorcycles before their warranty expires, with the consequence that spline-shearing will only occur on bikes for which the warranty has lapsed.  In my opinion, the service life of a properly maintained FD spline should be roughly as long as the other moving parts like the engine and transmission.  So, the position that I am taking with the dealer is that a rusted FD spline at 8000 miles is a failure caused by improper assembly, and exacerbated by a failure to specify periodic maintenance procedures. 

 

I plan to keep my bike past the warranty period. I think I have a right to expect that all the systems will be working properly and well within their service lives when the warranty expires.  After that, I expect that when parts wear out, that it will be up to me to buy new parts and either replace them myself or pay someone to do it for me.

 

BMW built their reputation as an elite brand based on designing motorcycles with long service lives.  Perhaps their design goals have changed.  I suppose that tolerating the FD spline rust problem could be a deliberate strategy from BMW, as they figure that most of their sales will be to people who won't keep their motorcycles long enough to encounter this avoidable failure.  This is only a problem for owners of used BMW motorcycles, or the rare first owner who keeps his/her bike long enough for the problem to emerge.  If BMW has indeed changed their design philosophy, then I would argue that they no longer deserve their status as an elite brand.  Or maybe this is something their engineers didn't anticipate, and BMW will acknowledge their mistake and fix it at their expense.  I am hoping for the latter.

 

Cap

 

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19 hours ago, Cap said:

 

The dealer was taking the position that since the final drive spline is not part of scheduled maintenance, then it is not subject to warranty unless the splines have sheared off.  Of course, most owners won't put enough miles on their motorcycles before their warranty expires, with the consequence that spline-shearing will only occur on bikes for which the warranty has lapsed.  In my opinion, the service life of a properly maintained FD spline should be roughly as long as the other moving parts like the engine and transmission.  So, the position that I am taking with the dealer is that a rusted FD spline at 8000 miles is a failure caused by improper assembly, and exacerbated by a failure to specify periodic maintenance procedures. 

 

I plan to keep my bike past the warranty period. I think I have a right to expect that all the systems will be working properly and well within their service lives when the warranty expires.  After that, I expect that when parts wear out, that it will be up to me to buy new parts and either replace them myself or pay someone to do it for me.

 

BMW built their reputation as an elite brand based on designing motorcycles with long service lives.  Perhaps their design goals have changed.  I suppose that tolerating the FD spline rust problem could be a deliberate strategy from BMW, as they figure that most of their sales will be to people who won't keep their motorcycles long enough to encounter this avoidable failure.  This is only a problem for owners of used BMW motorcycles, or the rare first owner who keeps his/her bike long enough for the problem to emerge.  If BMW has indeed changed their design philosophy, then I would argue that they no longer deserve their status as an elite brand.  Or maybe this is something their engineers didn't anticipate, and BMW will acknowledge their mistake and fix it at their expense.  I am hoping for the latter.

 

Cap

 

Understood and I would expect the same from them.  

 

I plan on keeping my 17 GS until I die so I do the maintenance and leave the dealer out of it. 

 

I assumed since the spline lube is not called out anywhere they would balk at you.  But if it was incorrectly put together and BMW should step up but I doubt it and would not hold my breath.

 

They are letting people sit for bad cams that is not a new issue and they could care less.  I mean it is like all but 4K for cams and followers!  I just think that is so ridiculous they get away with it.  I know if it happens to me I will get a lawyer and go after them and unfortunately the dealer also.  No way after 20K for the bike I am going to pay another 4K to fix their defect.

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Update: BMW has agreed to cover the rusted spline under warranty. 

 

I am not sure what the dealer plans to do, but they are keeping the bike for 2 weeks while they order parts.  So, that might mean that they will replace both the driveshaft and the final drive.  Perhaps someone will chime in on the prospects of detaching the driveshaft from the final drive if they are removed from the bike as a combined unit.

 

In any case, props to BMW Motorrad for stepping up and standing behind their product.  Well done.

 

Cap

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