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Bernie

Rusted Rear Spline

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Bernie

As part of my 12K service, I dropped my rear drive to inspect and lube the rear drive/shaft drive splines.

The rear drive input spline was rusted to the rear drive shaft spline.

The bike is a 2018 R1200RT-LC, that was new in Oct 2017 and has 12,709 miles on it. I also don't do water crossings or wash the bike with a garden hose.

I do ride in rain. There is no evidence of water in the swing arm.

To separate the two, it required a little bit of force. I believe this may be causing some suspension problems.

 

FdyviRj.jpg

 

g5fBz53.jpg

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Bernie

After removing all the rust I coated the splines with Honda Moly and lubed the rubber boot with Lithium grease and reassembled the rear drive.

Added new oil (180 ml).

The rubber boot has no holes and it fits very tight into the swing arm joint.

I also inspected the front boot.

Doing a little research on ADVrider, there are a lot of owners of GS/GSA models reporting problems since the introduction of the WetHead.

So I figured I try to make members here also aware of this possible problem.

 

XBHPlws.jpg

 

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PadG

Bernie - I am sure that the issues you are referring to at ADVRider has to do with failed U-joint. You will also note that the issues occurs mainly with the GS/GSA crowd who takes their machine off road and often gets their rear end underwater! Corrosion of the U-joint bearing, which is supposed to be sealed (like any modern u-joints in cars) and cannot be easily lubed, will cause it to fail quite catastrophically!

 

This is the reason why I don't recommend that anybody follows the old myth and take the drive apart to "lube the spline"! Nothing wrong with lubing the spline, but if you don't get the rubber boot back in place properly, and water is allowed to ingress inside the drive housing, you can have worse problems! The fact that your spline is rusty should tell you three things. First, is that they comes from the factory with no lubrication on the spline! I had seen this for myself n my prior '07 RT, where I did have to drop the FD and disconnect the spline to change the FD oil. Second, is that the spline joint of the 1200 boxers, and the drive system are designed such that there are very little movements in the spline joint, and hence the lube really doesn't do anything! Third is that, even with the rubber boot installed correctly, you still have some moisture that managed to get inside of the drive housing! Now, that last part is a bit scary to me, when I think of the U-joints!

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Bernie

My mistake.

Please remove post.

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lkraus

Not a mistake, nobody likes to see corrosion on a new bike. But I do agree with PadG. BMW "perfected" the parallelogram geometry with the R1200 EVO version of the Paralever, so that spline does not move in operation. You could weld the shaft to the pinion without affecting the suspension. Even if there were some tiny sliding movement, normal operation would keep the dry joint from seizing - any rust development would break free long before it could seize the joint. I have to drop the final drive on my '06 to change the oil, but the lube I applied 30K miles ago is still enough to ease assembly and prevent rust.

 

I do like the idea of lubing the spline ONCE, just to prevent the surface rust and to verify that the boot is sealed with grease.

 

Though the factory apparently does not use spline lube, the repair DVD does still call for Optimoly TA on the splines during assembly.

Edited by lkraus

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Rider1200RT

Hi Bernie , I just got the photos and am a bit dismayed at the corrosion on the splines. Like you, I rarely use water to wash he the bike but have ridden in the rain....

I will check the splines on my bike asap and let you know what I find...

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Bernie

 

https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial.1129815/

 

Check this list of posts and you will change your mind about this being only a problem for ditch jumping and river crossing GS bikes.

Unless you are a firm believer that the only reason BMW decided to use two u-joints in their bikes is to increase the failure rate on purpose. Because if you don't need two u-joints, why not use a straight piece of steel between the swing arm pivot point and the rear drive like on the old air heads. But maybe it's cheaper to make with an extra u-joint and splines.

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Indy Dave

I'd certainly lube those splines up! As for the boot, it takes a little attention to detail to get in back in place and sealed with the pre-wet head (OLD style) boots. The Wethead boots have been redesigned and fit nice and tight now! Thanks Bernie for the head up and photos!

Edited by Indy Dave

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Rider1200RT

I checked my bike this afternoon and the splines were perfectly greased with no rust on the driveshaft or U-joint. The bike has 14K + miles on it.

No signs of water ever having been in there either and I have ridden in torrential downpours.

BMW may want to up the QC thingy as there seem some inconsistency as to which bikes are and aren't greased properly..

OTOH the valves on my bike were wickedly out of spec so there is that... :(

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lkraus
GS Spline lube from ADV

 

Check this list of posts and you will change your mind about this being only a problem for ditch jumping and river crossing GS bikes.

Unless you are a firm believer that the only reason BMW decided to use two u-joints in their bikes is to increase the failure rate on purpose. Because if you don't need two u-joints, why not use a straight piece of steel between the swing arm pivot point and the rear drive like on the old air heads. But maybe it's cheaper to make with an extra u-joint and splines.

 

The link is not working for me, but I think you were referring to https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial.1129815/?

 

I'm seeing lots of references to surface rust, and many pictures of dry splines (rusted and not), but going back several hundred posts (out of 750+), I'm not seeing any reports of actual mechanical problems involving these splines. Again, after assembly, the splined parts do not move relative to each other. Granted, rusty parts look bad, but they are covered.

 

The Paralever design keeps the FD housing at a constant angle relative to the road, keeping the wheelbase constant and preventing shaft jacking under acceleration, both of which contribute to good consistent handling. Two U-joints are a necessary consequence of that geometry. I've not worked on an airhead, but I know my shaft drive Yamaha got by with a single u-joint, and that design did require sliding splines and the need for regular disassembly to lube the joint, maintenance that is not needed on the EVO Paralever bikes. There is room for improvement in the U-joints, but the splines have been reliable since the EVO design came out with the 2004 R1200GS.

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Highway41

Having experienced catastrophic failure of the rear u-joint, I agree with the need for improvement there but am still confused about the splines.

 

If the splines don't move fore/aft, why is there a flexible boot between the rear housing and the driveshaft housing and not a more permanent, moisture proof cover? And would enough rusting eventually result in seizure and not being able to drop the rear housing without use of a hammer/chisel? I've had three RTs all self serviced and each had evidence of lube on the rear spline when first inspected/serviced.

 

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Bernie
GS Spline lube from ADV

 

Check this list of posts and you will change your mind about this being only a problem for ditch jumping and river crossing GS bikes.

Unless you are a firm believer that the only reason BMW decided to use two u-joints in their bikes is to increase the failure rate on purpose. Because if you don't need two u-joints, why not use a straight piece of steel between the swing arm pivot point and the rear drive like on the old air heads. But maybe it's cheaper to make with an extra u-joint and splines.

 

The link is not working for me, but I think you were referring to https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial.1129815/?

 

I'm seeing lots of references to surface rust, and many pictures of dry splines (rusted and not), but going back several hundred posts (out of 750+), I'm not seeing any reports of actual mechanical problems involving these splines. Again, after assembly, the splined parts do not move relative to each other. Granted, rusty parts look bad, but they are covered.

 

The Paralever design keeps the FD housing at a constant angle relative to the road, keeping the wheelbase constant and preventing shaft jacking under acceleration, both of which contribute to good consistent handling. Two U-joints are a necessary consequence of that geometry. I've not worked on an airhead, but I know my shaft drive Yamaha got by with a single u-joint, and that design did require sliding splines and the need for regular disassembly to lube the joint, maintenance that is not needed on the EVO Paralever bikes. There is room for improvement in the U-joints, but the splines have been reliable since the EVO design came out with the 2004 R1200GS.

 

 

Yes, that is the link, but it doesn't always work when you try to post one from a phone.

I don't want to mention what brand, as I have already offended lots of folks today.

If you guys think that I will apologize for lubricating my drive shaft splines, forget it. :rofl:

You can just let yours collect as much surface rust as you want, your business.

I did not complain or state that I had a problem with the surface rust.

My problem was that the two splines that make up the connection between the rear of drive shaft and the rear drive where RUSTED together, FROZEN, "un-moveable".

It was engineered by someone to move, it was designed to slide a small amount back and fort, every time the swing arm moved up or down or whenever you either accelerated or slowed down.

If it had not been designed to move, and I mean that if the rear drive housing had not been designed to float back and fort while the bike is in operations, then they would not have included a linkage.

I know some of you think it is something totally useless, because the Japanese bikes don't use it and you may very well be correct.

I am not a engineer and I didn't stay in a Holiday Express either. But I am sure there is a reason why it has been designed the way it is.

All I am trying to do is make it work the way it was designed to work and the only reason I posted my findings here is to make members of this board aware that something could be going wrong with their rear drives.

But lets just discuss the reason synthetic oil is available in liquid form. :wave:

 

 

 

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lkraus
Having experienced catastrophic failure of the rear u-joint, I agree with the need for improvement there but am still confused about the splines.

 

If the splines don't move fore/aft, why is there a flexible boot between the rear housing and the driveshaft housing and not a more permanent, moisture proof cover? And would enough rusting eventually result in seizure and not being able to drop the rear housing without use of a hammer/chisel? I've had three RTs all self serviced and each had evidence of lube on the rear spline when first inspected/serviced.

 

If the splines moved back and forth, a dry joint would show wear on the splines in the form of shiny bearing surfaces, not powdered rust. Any movement would push the rust out of the way. Let the bike sit motionless for a year in damp conditions and you might find rust on a dry sliding spline, but Bernie piles on way too many miles for that to happen.

 

The boot has to be flexible to accommodate the changing angles of the swing arm relative to the final drive. For the drive shaft, this flexibility all takes place at the U-joint.

 

I looked for an animation showing why the length of the drive shaft/ u-joint/spline assembly does not need to change, or even a simple parallelogram linkage, with no success. (I don't think gifs work here anyway.) Maybe a picture and another viewpoint will help visualize what is happening.

44314844731_f398aebd41_b.jpg

The pivot axis of the rear U-joint is on the yellow line connecting the pivot points of the final drive (peel back your boot and see). Similarly, the front u-joint axis is on a line connecting the swing arm bolt and the front end of the torque arm. The distance from the yellow line back to the pinion gear shaft has to be constant, it's all solid metal.. Like a very short wide ladder with three rungs (torque arm, drive shaft between U-joint centers,swing arm) and loose joints, the rails can move up and down even though the rungs all remain the same length.

 

I like the idea of some grease on the splines and the BMW repair DVD calls for it; grease protects the metal from moisture and makes the parts slide together easier during assembly. But there a lot of EVO Paralever bikes running around with dry splines from the factory with no ill effects.

 

Don't know why synthetic oil is available as a liquid, but I am glad it is. The powder version clumps up and the cubes require a hammer to get them through the filler hole. Synthetic fabric polishes the bearings nicely but tends to jam the gears. I've not tried gaseous synthetics as I prefer natural foods.:eat:

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LAF

Have to say I disagree on not doing the service.

 

It should have been done from the factory. Some are and some aren't.

 

My 17.5 GS was bone dry not a hint of lube and just a bit of rust. I cleaned all surfaces wire brushed, 200 grit sand paper and some steel brushes and then I blew it out with air. I then PB Blasted all the knuckle joint pivot points and worked them real well and then wiped them clean. I then applied Honda Paste on the splines and sprayed the drive shaft the knuckles and all if the drive shaft I could see and reach with a snorkel with ACF 50 spray.

 

First rust migrates from rust. Once rust starts you can not stop it from rusting more UNLESS you remove and treat the rust. Even that just slows it down. I do not see it as any safety issue I just see it as a maintenance item.

 

Not hard to do, can coincide it with a FD oil change as you remove the sensor to swing it down, it allows you to clean your brake caliper and inspect pads, and I really think it is effective for long term drive shaft longevity. In 6K I will "pull" the whole shaft and do the upper joints and spines also.

 

Also I would not know that my drive shaft is coated or painted in my new GS and my 15 RT was not.

 

Your bike do what you like, again not a safety issue, but not hard to do and worth the time to me to know how my bike is kept.

 

 

Edited by LAF

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NoelCP

Sure seems like a good idea just to help prevent rust and facilitate assembly and weird they don't do it at the factory for at least the first of those two reasons. Bernie's bike only has 12K miles on it--how are those splines going to look at 120K miles? Which begs another question: what is reasonable to expect out of RTW's main engine/transmission, provided it is perfectly maintained and not abused? 150K miles seems doable doesn't it? If me and my dreamliner make it to the halfway point of that benchmark I plan to just replace the drive shaft and be done with it, and grease its splines then, at about 75K miles. I live in a low humidity environment at least for when I'm riding so I don't think I'm getting much rusting going on. I would love to know which major parts really ought to be replaced if one wants to continue riding the bike into its golden years, versus buying a new bike. In some respect all moving and electrical parts are consumable, just at different rates. I find absolutely nothing wrong w/ my '16 RT it's the perfect ride in all ways for me and only gets better it seems, now at 35,585m, so can see trying to keep it going as long as possible it's really worth it!

Edited by NoelCP

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AndyS
..... If me and my dreamliner make it to the halfway point of that benchmark I plan to just replace the drive shaft and be done with it, and grease its splines then, at about 75K miles.

 

I don't get it. Why even consider replacing it unless it is giving problems. You have plucked one component for replacement - that's a strange ethos. The Final drive has a pretty easy life when compared to other highly stressed components of the bike.

 

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NoelCP
..... If me and my dreamliner make it to the halfway point of that benchmark I plan to just replace the drive shaft and be done with it, and grease its splines then, at about 75K miles.

 

I don't get it. Why even consider replacing it unless it is giving problems. You have plucked one component for replacement - that's a strange ethos. The Final drive has a pretty easy life when compared to other highly stressed components of the bike.

 

My thinking on this might not be valid, but two things get me to see it this way as someone who would like to keep the bike upwards of 150K miles if it will do it and if I can still ride it then. 1, I see the drive shaft w/ its two u-joint sets as consumable items that have to endure a lot of stress and forces, and never get serviced, ie the needle bearings are not cleaned nor lubed s/p insertion into the bike. They will have a typical average lifespan, and it strikes me 100K miles might be about reasonable, which is a total guess. I'm open to hearing other opinions on this. If that's true, and I keep the bike for 150K miles, why not put in a new shaft with its eight bearing sets BEFORE the thing fails on a trip, etc. And 2, drive shaft failure strikes me as a failure than can be potentially catastrophic, meaning could lead to rear-wheel lockup etc. These rationales may not be valid Andy, I don't know, but those are the thoughts that underscored the comment above.

 

As for the final drive and stress, I'm not sure I agree with that at all. I don't see the way I ride will put a whole lot of stress on the main moving parts in the motor & gearbox, and I would fully expect all parts in the engine and gearbox will hold up for 150K miles the way I care for and ride the bike, where bearings are bathed in oil and interfaces work much more in the same plane, unlike u-joints and even bevel gears that have to turn power 90 degrees. I don't see the wheels as particularly stressed. The tires get changed. I will have to replace clutch and brake pads some day and a few other parts I'm sure. I'll replace the battery right at 3y regardless of its health then as I see 3y as reasonable service life for it and would like to avoid getting hung up somewhere because of a dead battery. So I see the drive shaft w/ u-joints as a consumable item w/ a long lifespan.

Edited by NoelCP

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tamiller
Having experienced catastrophic failure of the rear u-joint, I agree with the need for improvement there but am still confused about the splines.

 

If the splines don't move fore/aft, why is there a flexible boot between the rear housing and the driveshaft housing and not a more permanent, moisture proof cover? And would enough rusting eventually result in seizure and not being able to drop the rear housing without use of a hammer/chisel? I've had three RTs all self serviced and each had evidence of lube on the rear spline when first inspected/serviced.

 

If the splines moved back and forth, a dry joint would show wear on the splines in the form of shiny bearing surfaces, not powdered rust. Any movement would push the rust out of the way. Let the bike sit motionless for a year in damp conditions and you might find rust on a dry sliding spline, but Bernie piles on way too many miles for that to happen.

 

The boot has to be flexible to accommodate the changing angles of the swing arm relative to the final drive. For the drive shaft, this flexibility all takes place at the U-joint.

 

I looked for an animation showing why the length of the drive shaft/ u-joint/spline assembly does not need to change, or even a simple parallelogram linkage, with no success. (I don't think gifs work here anyway.) Maybe a picture and another viewpoint will help visualize what is happening.

44314844731_f398aebd41_b.jpg

The pivot axis of the rear U-joint is on the yellow line connecting the pivot points of the final drive (peel back your boot and see). Similarly, the front u-joint axis is on a line connecting the swing arm bolt and the front end of the torque arm. The distance from the yellow line back to the pinion gear shaft has to be constant, it's all solid metal.. Like a very short wide ladder with three rungs (torque arm, drive shaft between U-joint centers,swing arm) and loose joints, the rails can move up and down even though the rungs all remain the same length.

 

I like the idea of some grease on the splines and the BMW repair DVD calls for it; grease protects the metal from moisture and makes the parts slide together easier during assembly. But there a lot of EVO Paralever bikes running around with dry splines from the factory with no ill effects.

 

Don't know why synthetic oil is available as a liquid, but I am glad it is. The powder version clumps up and the cubes require a hammer to get them through the filler hole. Synthetic fabric polishes the bearings nicely but tends to jam the gears. I've not tried gaseous synthetics as I prefer natural foods.:eat:

 

I am going to have to disagree with this. IF the splined shaft was even with the pivot points of the housing then the distance would be constant, but it's not, it's above the pivot points. In order for this distance to stay the same the parallel arm would need to be exactly the same length as the driveshaft housing. ANY movement of the differential in relation to the swingarm will cause movement of the universal joint on the splined shaft. There is considerable movement at the joint of the driveshaft housing and the differential. You can find videos of this movement on Youtube.

 

My rear universal was completely frozen to the shaft. The retainer on the universal on the transmission output shaft had came loose and it was sliding there instead of the differential. I had to remove the rear housing and take the entire thing out. I then had to rotate it and using a drift and hammer, drive it off the rear spline. I then lubed it, reinstalled the driveshaft, locking the retainer in place and put it all back together.

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Huzband

 

The Paralever design keeps the FD housing at a constant angle relative to the road,KEEPING THE WHEELBASE CONSANT ....

 

 

I've read some hooie on motorcycle forums before, but that might be the hooiest. Go read some Kevin Cameron (or anyone else) articles on how motorcycle suspension works. You might also want to consider the various reasons splines need lube. There's more than one.

 

Edited by Huzband

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Barry O'Brien

Hi Guys, Im new to this site and I know this is an old thread but I thought I would share my experience with BMW 1200gsa drive shafts .

I bought a 2014 BMW 1200gsa LC a month ago. It has a full main dealer BMW service history. I bought the bike from a friend of mine who had it garaged in a heated garage, never went off road on it. I was well minded. I did notice the paint bubbling on the swing arm and final drive casing, so I decided to check the drive shaft and the photos show what I found.

 

How can a bike with only 15K mikes which has always been garaged, end up with a drive shaft like this.... Both boots were in perfect condition but the swing arm casing was rotten where the final drive boot connects. This is just ridiculously poor quality control from a high end brand. I also noticed the cruise control switch is gone faulty, and again if you google this, you will get plenty of hits with other riders having the very same problem.

 

I am almost 60 years of age and have been riding bikes since I was 17 and never saw such awful quality. I had an 1150gs and the build quality was good, I then had an air cooled 1200gs and I felt the quality was not as good and now this...Motorbikes built by accounts....in my opinion.

IMG_20200403_133655.jpg

IMG_20200403_132343.jpg

IMG_20200403_132337.jpg

IMG_20200403_162335.jpg

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dirtrider
11 minutes ago, Barry O'Brien said:

How can a bike with only 15K mikes which has always been garaged, end up with a drive shaft like this.... Both boots were in perfect condition but the swing arm casing was rotten where the final drive boot connects. This is just ridiculously poor quality control from a high end brand. I also noticed the cruise control switch is gone faulty, and again if you google this, you will get plenty of hits with other riders having the very same problem.

 

 

 

Afternoon Barry 

 

It got that way because water got into the boot/swing arm & didn't all get out.

 

How that water got in is unknown, the major reasons are riding through deep water with a hot final drive/hot swing arm, or power washing the motorcycle with the wand spray too powerful & to close to the boot joints.   

 

High water, like being in  a major flood can also cause water entry. 

 

Did your friend buy the bike new or used? 

 

The rust damage to the shaft & U-joints is not uncommon if ridden through deep water or power washed, the bubbling powder coat on the alloy swing arm is not that common unless there was salt water involved.

 

 

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Barry O'Brien

Hi Dirtrider, 

 

Thanks a million for your reply. 

 

My mate bought it from the UK when it was two years old. He said it was in perfect condition when he bought it but I suppose salt on the roads may have done it. 

It's still poor manufacturing in my opinion. My last air cooled 1200gs had 70k miles on her with thorn boots and the drive shaft was like new. 

 

I have four buddies with 1200gs LC's and the frames on all of them have bubbled and were changed under warranty. Poor paint, Poor switch gear. 

 

It's a shame, because the Gs LC is such a wonderful bike to ride. 

 

I think since environmental bodies forced manufacturers to use water based paint, this was the start of the problem. 

 

If I had a car which I drove only on occasions and it only had 15k miles on the clock and was garaged, I would expect it to be in showroom condition. 

 

There are too many cases of poor paint and drive shaft problems for it to be down to the owners. I understand some riders abuse their bikes but 90% of BMW riders I know mind their bikes like babies. 

 

I'm just disappointed to be honest. 

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realshelby

Well, I would get rid of the bike. And your mate. Neither has been honest with you!

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Barry O'Brien

A good point Realshelby, My fault I suppose. I should have examined the bike in more detail before I handed over the cash :money:

 

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TEWKS

Welcome to the forum Barry! :wave: Yeah disappointed that it was missed before purchase but the deed is done so, replace the U-joint, lube up the splines and ride! ;)

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Skywagon

Barry...That looks like filiform corrosion most likely caused by poor painting and salt water.  I would clean it up or it will likely eat it up over time.  To clean it correctly you need to sand it down and treat it.  Without sanding you can spray various sprays like Corrosion X, Boeshield, ACF 50 etc, but you won't have cured the problem...just postponed it and your housing will always be messy and will slowly get worse.  If it were mine I would clean it correctly, then use zinc-chromate primer, another primer, and then paint.  There is another product that is bullet proof on aluminum but its very expensive called nycote.  I think it is about $600quart...that would be serious overkill.

 

I'm not sure if that housing is aluminum or not, but suspect it is.  Perhaps Terry, Bernie, DR or someone can confirm.  I definitely would not just leave it untreated even if all you do is spray with a corrosion treatment.  

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Barry O'Brien

A good point Realshelby, My fault I suppose. I should have examined the bike in more detail before I handed over the cash :money:

 

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Barry O'Brien
18 minutes ago, Skywagon said:

Barry...That looks like filiform corrosion most likely caused by poor painting and salt water.  I would clean it up or it will likely eat it up over time.  To clean it correctly you need to sand it down and treat it.  Without sanding you can spray various sprays like Corrosion X, Boeshield, ACF 50 etc, but you won't have cured the problem...just postponed it and your housing will always be messy and will slowly get worse.  If it were mine I would clean it correctly, then use zinc-chromate primer, another primer, and then paint.  There is another product that is bullet proof on aluminum but its very expensive called nycote.  I think it is about $600quart...that would be serious overkill.

 

I'm not sure if that housing is aluminum or not, but suspect it is.  Perhaps Terry, Bernie, DR or someone can confirm.  I definitely would not just leave it untreated even if all you do is spray with a corrosion treatment.  

 

Hi Skywagon. thanks so much for the really helpful information. All  I have done so far, just to get me back on the road, was to clean off the heavy rust and lub the splines and CV joint with a Moly grease. My plan is to remove the driveshaft from the bike and follow your suggestions. Do you know if the driveshaft just pulls away from the gearbox end or is it held in in some way? Thanks again.

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Barry O'Brien
40 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

Welcome to the forum Barry! :wave: Yeah disappointed that it was missed before purchase but the deed is done so, replace the U-joint, lube up the splines and ride! ;)

 

Hi TEWKS :clap:, thanks for the warm welcome. You are bang on, the deal is done and I love the bike. The way I see it now is that I have a nice project to look forward to.

BMW GSA 4.jpg

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Barry O'Brien
On 8/30/2018 at 10:16 PM, LAF said:

Have to say I disagree on not doing the service.

 

It should have been done from the factory. Some are and some aren't.

 

My 17.5 GS was bone dry not a hint of lube and just a bit of rust. I cleaned all surfaces wire brushed, 200 grit sand paper and some steel brushes and then I blew it out with air. I then PB Blasted all the knuckle joint pivot points and worked them real well and then wiped them clean. I then applied Honda Paste on the splines and sprayed the drive shaft the knuckles and all if the drive shaft I could see and reach with a snorkel with ACF 50 spray.

 

First rust migrates from rust. Once rust starts you can not stop it from rusting more UNLESS you remove and treat the rust. Even that just slows it down. I do not see it as any safety issue I just see it as a maintenance item.

 

Not hard to do, can coincide it with a FD oil change as you remove the sensor to swing it down, it allows you to clean your brake caliper and inspect pads, and I really think it is effective for long term drive shaft longevity. In 6K I will "pull" the whole shaft and do the upper joints and spines also.

 

Also I would not know that my drive shaft is coated or painted in my new GS and my 15 RT was not.

 

Your bike do what you like, again not a safety issue, but not hard to do and worth the time to me to know how my bike is kept.

 

 

Hi LAF, I see you mentioned that you removed the driveshaft on your bike to lub the splines on the other end. Does the shaft just pull out from where you drop the final drive? and the other question is, is it difficult to get back in again? Many thanks.

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wbw6cos

Allo @Barry O'Brien, welcome to the club!   It is sad to see the condition of that U-joint when the rest of the motorbike looks spectacular.  Hope you get it sorted straight away.  

 

What part of the UK is the bike in now?

 

Cheers,

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Skywagon
3 hours ago, Barry O'Brien said:

Do you know if the driveshaft just pulls away from the gearbox end or is it held in in some way? Thanks again.

 

Hey Barry...I don't...others here will with great detail.  You don't have to be in a real big hurry as it isn't going to eat it overnight or anytime soon.  If it's good riding season for you, just use one of the sprays for a while as they work pretty well but again aren't a permanent answer.

The bike looks great.  I suspect this is just an anomaly so I wouldn't get overly concerned.

 

Be sure you don't get those sprays on your tires though...They are slicker than goose poop.  

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Boxflyer

The driveshaft is able to be pulled away from the output shaft of the transmission.  It can be completely removed to inspect/repair/lube...whatever.  

 

Replacing the driveshaft in the Paralever is a several step procedure as it requires you to undo the front zip tie around the FWD rubber boot.

The rubber boot once opened from the front, can be held back with a screwdriver as the front yoke of the driveshaft is presented to the splined output shaft of the transmission.

Once the splines start to engage, there is about an inch of slide until you hit the circular snap ring held in the driveshaft up against the chamfered end of the output shaft.

In this video at about 21:50, it shows where I reset the snap ring on the driveshaft onto the transmission shaft...the last step of engaging the driveshaft if you removed it from the Paralever.  

https://youtu.be/c1_1gPRA274?t=947

 

Of course, there is a special BMW OEM zip tie needed to hold the rubber boot back onto the groove in the transmission...it's this part# 33177687623.  This is a slightly narrower zip tie than your normal black zip ties that are laying around your shop, so don't be tempted to use something else...

 

Feel free to watch the entire 6 part series on R1200RTW 12k/20k KM service.  Please click on the "SHOW MORE" part in the Description of each video for special notes, links, worksheets, and other shop aids for doing the work.

Hope this helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0exJbyMnGQg

 

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wbw6cos

Question:  How does that rust affect the operation of the drive shaft?  

 

Guessing noise is evident, right?

 

Vibration?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Boxflyer

Of the 6 or 7 that I've seen really rusted up, a couple actually seized on the FD end of the splines, there was no difference from a well lubed, perfectly dry driveshaft.

So, no, there is no obvious external evidence that you have been having a leaking rubber boot and water has been making things ugly inside the Paralever.

 

Before I do any FD maintenance I look very closely at the lower half of the rear rubber boot ( from 3 to 9 oclock on the Paralever side) for visual evidence that the lip was not completely seated in the machined alloy...my first hint that I may be in for some extra work because of water intrusion.

This is typical of a poorly mated seal that's been letting water and crud enter for some time.

 

Here, the chamfered edge should not be where the water tight seal takes place...it should be on the cylinder cut machined surface.  In this picture, it's completely caked with crud and that should have been in direct contact with the greased lip around the front of the boot...this one, leaving a direct path for water and road crud to enter.

IMG_1582-M.jpg

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Barry O'Brien
10 hours ago, wbw6cos said:

Allo @Barry O'Brien, welcome to the club!   It is sad to see the condition of that U-joint when the rest of the motorbike looks spectacular.  Hope you get it sorted straight away.  

 

What part of the UK is the bike in now?

 

Cheers,

Hi wbw6cos, thank for your post. I'm Irish living in Dublin but the bike was imported from England. They use a lot of salt on the roads in the UK in the winter and it does seem to corrode cars and bikes that come from there. 

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Barry O'Brien
12 hours ago, Boxflyer said:

The driveshaft is able to be pulled away from the output shaft of the transmission.  It can be completely removed to inspect/repair/lube...whatever.  

 

Replacing the driveshaft in the Paralever is a several step procedure as it requires you to undo the front zip tie around the FWD rubber boot.

The rubber boot once opened from the front, can be held back with a screwdriver as the front yoke of the driveshaft is presented to the splined output shaft of the transmission.

Once the splines start to engage, there is about an inch of slide until you hit the circular snap ring held in the driveshaft up against the chamfered end of the output shaft.

In this video at about 21:50, it shows where I reset the snap ring on the driveshaft onto the transmission shaft...the last step of engaging the driveshaft if you removed it from the Paralever.  

https://youtu.be/c1_1gPRA274?t=947

 

Of course, there is a special BMW OEM zip tie needed to hold the rubber boot back onto the groove in the transmission...it's this part# 33177687623.  This is a slightly narrower zip tie than your normal black zip ties that are laying around your shop, so don't be tempted to use something else...

 

Feel free to watch the entire 6 part series on R1200RTW 12k/20k KM service.  Please click on the "SHOW MORE" part in the Description of each video for special notes, links, worksheets, and other shop aids for doing the work.

Hope this helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0exJbyMnGQg

 

Wow Boxflyer, thank you so much for such a detailed reply, it is so helpful. I am now subscribed to your YouTube channel and am your new number one fan. I cant believe the kindness of everyone in this club in responding so quickly with fantastic Information. Thanks again and I will post photos of the driveshaft cleanup when I get to do it. 👍👍👍

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Barry O'Brien
20 hours ago, wbw6cos said:

Question:  How does that rust affect the operation of the drive shaft?  

 

Guessing noise is evident, right?

 

Vibration?

 

Thanks in advance.

I did run the bike on the centre stand at slow speed and the drive did sound a bit Crunchy but sounded smooth after I lubricated the splines.

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LAF
On 4/23/2020 at 3:35 PM, Barry O'Brien said:

Hi LAF, I see you mentioned that you removed the driveshaft on your bike to lub the splines on the other end. Does the shaft just pull out from where you drop the final drive? and the other question is, is it difficult to get back in again? Many thanks.

Well the top is kinda of hard to get back in but no issue other then patience.  It has a clip in it that you must get the shaft past to snap in but it is just patience.  I believe the top only needs checked and done once as it takes little abuse.  The lower one takes the beating and if the boot is not in place correctly it causes problems with allowing more water entry.  Mine were dry with med rust on the lower and light rust on the top one.  When I say dry I mean dry! 

 

I used JVB Productions tip to use a piece of wire to help line up the rear into the FD.  It helps you control the drive shaft a bit better then gripping it by hand.

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alegerlotz
22 hours ago, Barry O'Brien said:

I did run the bike on the centre stand at slow speed and the drive did sound a bit Crunchy but sounded smooth after I lubricated the splines.

 

You can get odd noises running the bike in gear on the center stand anyway.  That's not necessarily an indication of anything because the angles of the driveshaft when its on the center stand are much steeper than normal.  Riding down the road with a rider (and possibly luggage) the drive shaft is going to be much straighter at both universal joints.

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LAF

On the center stand the rear wheel has all the driveline slop available on throttle input so you are bound to hear weird noises.  With the tire on the ground the drive train slop is controlled by the weight of the bike on the tire/drive line.

 

As said what you probably hear is normal.

 

I dont think you will ever feel or notice that you did a spline lube other then looks and longevity.

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Barry O'Brien
20 minutes ago, LAF said:

On the center stand the rear wheel has all the driveline slop available on throttle input so you are bound to hear weird noises.  With the tire on the ground the drive train slop is controlled by the weight of the bike on the tire/drive line.

 

As said what you probably hear is normal.

 

I dont think you will ever feel or notice that you did a spline lube other then looks and longevity.

That's a good point LAF, the angle of the swing when the bike is up on the centre stand. 

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twistyguy

Hey guys.  I just wanted to add my story to emphasize how important it is to check your final drive splines for rust.  Yesterday I was doing the 24 K maintenance  with Jim VonBaden (of JVB Productions) and he suggested we drop the final drive to check the splines.  This is not part of the normal 24K service.  I'm so glad we did.  I do a lot of off-asphalt riding and do a fair bit of deeper water crossings.  Also My rear boot was improperly installed and probably leaked a good bit.  Well the rear U-joint was seized.  It took 20 minutes with a hammer and chisel to free up.  We thoroughly wire-brushed as much rust off as we could, applied anti-rust paint to the shaft, and coated the splines with what Jim calls "the good stuff"--Honda Moly.  We then reassembled the shaft and final drive on the bike.  I feel it's important for all R bike owners to know that this can happen (not just to GS owners).  This really should be checked every 12K service.  Pics are below.  Also, better pics and description by JVB in ADVRider:  https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial.1129815/page-69#post-40608463

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Skywagon

Had the boot been off before?  Wonder why it was installed wrong...factory or ?  good report

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twistyguy
On 8/9/2020 at 2:15 PM, Skywagon said:

Had the boot been off before?  Wonder why it was installed wrong...factory or ?  good report

Hi Skywagon.  I don’t think the boot was taken off before.  It always looked ill fitting to me though.  Hopefully we’ve caught this problem early enough that it won’t bite me for another 75k or so.  I plan to drop the final drive every 6k just to check how the splines are doing just in case though.

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Barry O'Brien

Hi Twistyguy, thanks for uploading the photos. Looks like you've done a brilliant restoration. I had the same issue and I believe the corrosion may happen from power washing. I stripped mine down also. I de-rusted and regressed the splines. I plan on inspecting mine every 5k miles as its a handy job. Going off topic, I just wanted to share a before and after photo after replacing my petrol tank.. I'm so please with it I just wanted to share. Happy riding 👍

Before and After Rallye.jpg

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JonHull

Bought my bike new in 2017.  18K miles mostly asphalt under mostly dry conditions.  It's only been driven in heavy rain for a total of 4 hours max.  I have never driven it off road, in the mud, or through any brooks or rivers.  I use a garden hose to wash on low pressure.  I read this thread a while ago and made sure they checked it when I had it serviced this week.  Note the mechanics comments on the attached picture.  This bike has been pampered, and it was still full of water.  I would encourage anyone who cares to have theirs checked out.   

 

 

Screenshot 2021-04-16 135049.jpeg

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LAF
On 8/9/2020 at 11:12 AM, twistyguy said:

Hey guys.  I just wanted to add my story to emphasize how important it is to check your final drive splines for rust.  Yesterday I was doing the 24 K maintenance  with Jim VonBaden (of JVB Productions) and he suggested we drop the final drive to check the splines.  This is not part of the normal 24K service.  I'm so glad we did.  I do a lot of off-asphalt riding and do a fair bit of deeper water crossings.  Also My rear boot was improperly installed and probably leaked a good bit.  Well the rear U-joint was seized.  It took 20 minutes with a hammer and chisel to free up.  We thoroughly wire-brushed as much rust off as we could, applied anti-rust paint to the shaft, and coated the splines with what Jim calls "the good stuff"--Honda Moly.  We then reassembled the shaft and final drive on the bike.  I feel it's important for all R bike owners to know that this can happen (not just to GS owners).  This really should be checked every 12K service.  Pics are below.  Also, better pics and description by JVB in ADVRider:  https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200gsw-lc-wethead-final-drive-change-and-spline-lube-pictorial.1129815/page-69#post-40608463

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Jim has really done a lot to bring this and other service issues that are not called out for maintenance and ignored by most others.  He is a good guy.  His tech sessions are very cool. 

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