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Spline lube, or not.


Hermes

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I am coming up to my 60k (km), that's 36k miles Virginia.

So I talked to the mechanic today at BMW in Whitby/Ontario and asked if it is recommended to do the lube on the spline at that time (Tuesday 29th).

He said that since the intro of the Paralever, the spline is packed in Molibdeon (sp?) and is good for life. That seems to run contra to the many threads we had on that subject, or am I missing something.

Btw, the mechanic is excellent and has a rocksolid reputation with the Ontario BMW riders.

 

Another quick Q:

I am buying a new battery and it will be the Gelpack type. Will my Optima battery tender work on that type of battery or must it be a lead-acid type battery?

 

Jurgen

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the spline is packed in Molibdeon (sp?) and is good for life.
Yes, the factory lube is good for the life of the transmission splines.

 

wink.gif

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He said that since the intro of the Paralever, the spline is packed in Molibdeon (sp?) and is good for life.
That's always been BMW's official position and the dealers seem obligated to drink the kool-aid.
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So what is the hot product for spline lube guys ?
Why do you ask..? grin.gif

 

The most common (or at least most commonly available) recommended product is Honda Moly 60 Paste (p/n 08734-0001), available from any Honda dealer.

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I am buying a new battery and it will be the Gelpack type. Will my Optima battery tender work on that type of battery or must it be a lead-acid type battery?

First of all, a gel battery IS a lead acid battery. The only difference is that the electrolyte is gelled, and not a liquid.

 

Now, why on earth would you WANT a gel battery? There are no advantages and a number of disadvantages such as increased cost, and that it cannot be float charged for an extended time at the same voltage that a "normal" lead acid battery can. If this is done, there is a risk of bubbles forming and being forever trapped in the gel.

 

You would be far better off getting an AGM battery. AGM means Absorbed Glass Mat. The electrolyte is liquid, but is soaked into a fiberglass mat between the plates. The result is that the battery is "no-maintenance", and will not spill, but otherwise has none of the disadvantages of a gel battery.

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As someone recently mentioned, your standard battery charger will work on a gel - you don't change your alternator with a gel replacement!

Gels don't seem to need the constant trickle over the winter like standard lead acid batteries, and I agree it's not a good idea to do so. There are documented cases of post winter startups, after not having received a trickle, without a problem.

I've been an Optima Gel fan since the first time I installed an Optima red top vehicle battery 10 years ago, and then it was stressed pretty hard with a competition audio system. Its still going in my wifes car now, although it is getting a little sluggish. They may cost more, but that is the only drawback, and they last 2-3 times longer than a standard battery. Not to mention what a pain it is to change in an RT. Another benefit to Gels is they don't care about mounting position. I've seen them upside down !

Someone in this forum put one sideways for ease of terminal access!

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Now, why on earth would you WANT a gel battery?

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I don't really WANT a gel battery, it's just that that is all the dealer carries. Frankly, I prefer the old lead acid type, at least there is no unknowns.

Where do you get an AGM battery, sounds like the best of both worlds?

 

Jurgen

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Mark Menard (Vita Rara)

Personally having done a spline lube I would say if your bike isn't showing symptoms of a problem leave it alone. Many people have ridden many miles on oil heads without ever touching their input splines.

 

The main indicator that I had an issue was pulling in the clutch and not being able to down shift. If that is occurring then I'd think seriously about lubing your splines otherwise I'd leave it alone.

 

Mark

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What year did the Molly-packed splines begin?

Reason I ask is that I am wondering if my '95 Roadster will need the lube job or not.

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I've been an Optima Gel fan since the first time I installed an Optima red top vehicle battery 10 years ago, and then it was stressed pretty hard with a competition audio system. Its still going in my wifes car now, although it is getting a little sluggish. They may cost more, but that is the only drawback, and they last 2-3 times longer than a standard battery. Not to mention what a pain it is to change in an RT. Another benefit to Gels is they don't care about mounting position. I've seen them upside down !

Optima batteries are AGM and not gel.

 

That said, I ran one Optima red top in my offroad jeep in excess of 10 years. Battery did winch duty as well as normal duty and was subject to the extreme bouncing and jolting that comes from rock crawling. Battery was still fine when I sold the vehicle.

 

I have used Optimas in other applications as well and have yet to have one fail.

 

Since Optima doesn't make a motorcycle battery, I used an Odyssey AGM in my 1100. Stock battery lasted 3 years. BMW Gel lasted 1 year. Odyssey still going strong when bike sold at 7 years.

 

When my gel in the 1200 fails, an Odyssey or equivalent AGM will go in.

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Just did a clutch spline lube on my 01 GS, 25k mi. Splines were good but really rusty. No sign of the "factory lube". Greased it up with the Honda 60. Good Stuff!!. Glad I did it, shifts much better and I think it's faster too.

Cheers

Steve

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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I plan to do a spline lube at 40,000 on my RT ( at 39,000 now ). I have the Spline Lube Movie (rated PG) and it doesn't look so hard. Two questions:

 

1. If I recall, the movie is a spline lube on an 1100RT. Is there anything different on the 1150RT?

 

2. From what I've read, one theory on spline lube failure is "axial misalignment" of the clutch and shaft. What is the chance that doing a spline lube and using cut-off bolts for alignment pins could result in axial misalignment and actually precipitate spline failure?

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I used Teds DVD to do my 1150 clutch job - it hits all the main points. One difference was the way I tackled it - I left the final drive/swingarm/tranny in one piece to save time. Unless you plan to swap out the pivot bearings there is no real need to dismanle the rear.

 

The cut-off bolts are not used for alignment - that is done by dowel pins in the casing - they just guide things avoiding damage to fragile parts. Speaking of which - I dropped the clutch slave cylinder and pulled the pushrod before pulling the tranny - making it impossible to bend that with a slip of the tranny. It went back last too.

 

Take your time - take pictures of where cable bundles etc run before disassembly. Take lots of pics at each step of disassembly - then take a few more. Use these pics as a guide to assis re-assembly.

 

The splines will look dry - this is because moly paste lube is adsorbed into the surface of the metal. Do not over-lube on reassembly - you do not want lube on the clutch face.

 

There is nothing particularly difficult here - just lots of simple things one after the other.

 

Andy

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Sagerider

 

When my gel in the 1200 fails, an Odyssey or equivalent AGM will go in.

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Since I will be going to the States soon, please tell me which stores (chains) sell the Odyssey batteries. I will stall the purchase 'til then and install enroute, aaghh!

 

Jurgen

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I don’t believe you guys are all on the same page here.. Some of you are talking about drive shaft spline lube (that’s the packed for life part) & others are talking about trans input-shaft/clutch disk spline lube..

 

Twisty

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Sagerider

 

When my gel in the 1200 fails, an Odyssey or equivalent AGM will go in.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Since I will be going to the States soon, please tell me which stores (chains) sell the Odyssey batteries. I will stall the purchase 'til then and install enroute, aaghh!

 

Jurgen

 

http://www.odysseybatteries.com/ (see dealers link)

http://www.batteriesplus.com/

http://www.summitracing.com/

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Personally having done a spline lube I would say if your bike isn't showing symptoms of a problem leave it alone. Many people have ridden many miles on oil heads without ever touching their input splines.

 

The main indicator that I had an issue was pulling in the clutch and not being able to down shift. If that is occurring then I'd think seriously about lubing your splines otherwise I'd leave it alone.

 

Mark

 

I agree with Mark. You're more likely to cause more problems by tearing the bike down. If you are going to have a spline failure, it most likely won't be due to lack of lube.

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Personally having done a spline lube I would say if your bike isn't showing symptoms of a problem leave it alone. Many people have ridden many miles on oil heads without ever touching their input splines.

 

The main indicator that I had an issue was pulling in the clutch and not being able to down shift. If that is occurring then I'd think seriously about lubing your splines otherwise I'd leave it alone.

 

Mark

 

I agree with Mark. You're more likely to cause more problems by tearing the bike down. If you are going to have a spline failure, it most likely won't be due to lack of lube.

 

 

I couldn't agree more!

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I agree with Mark. You're more likely to cause more problems by tearing the bike down. If you are going to have a spline failure, it most likely won't be due to lack of lube.

 

I suspect Mark and Steve are right, especially if the cause of the failure is an alignment problem and not really lack of lubrication. Maybe I'll bag the spline lube. ( although it looked reasonably easy and interesting ) My luck, I'd make it worse and something would fail on the way to West Bend. Better left alone, at least until after the rally.

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Jergen:

 

Well, it depends how obsessive you are. I tore mine apart at 56,000 km 'cause I was going on a long trip (over 20,000 km) last year. See this thread: I don't think these splines will make 100,000 km. I estimated the transmission input splines about 10% worn and the clutch side 20% plus worn. I decided to change the clutch at the time, and lube with the Honda Molylube.

 

Fast forward one year and 25,000 km. Tore it apart again last month. Inspection of the drive shaft again showed no play in the pivot bearings or rear drive so I removed the tranny and rear drive as one piece. Rear drive fluid change - minimal loss of fluid so I think the rear bearings and seals are OK too.

 

When I looked, there wasn't a hint of the Molylube left. Cleaned everything off and NO change in the transmission input splines and NO wear on the new clutch splines. Lubed 'er up and reassembled. Inspection of the clutch slave cylinder showed no leaking either. Clutch hydraulic fluid was clean as the day I put it in a year ago.

 

So for me, it was a great relief just to take it apart and inspect it - I won't do it again now for over 30,000 km.

 

BTW, I also took off the new alternator belt (changed at 40,000 km) and it looked just like my new spare - I think they are building them better then the stock 2002 one.

 

Mike Cassidy

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Thanks all for your input on the two subjects.

I think I will do the spline in fall of this year (would'nt want to sacrifiy precious riding time now) and get the Odysse AGM statesside in a few weeks here:

 

East Coast Batteries

171 Unit B Eads Street

West Babylon, NY 11704

 

That Odyssee Batteries sure sound like the ticket!

 

Jurgen

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2wheelterry

As an alternative, a periodic check of the slop between the trans input shaft and clutch disk has a lot of merit. It’s described in this post. It’s pretty easy to do, little risk and gives some feedback on the condition of the splined connection. Then if your measurement looks like its increasing, consider doing a spline inspection and lube.

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