Final drive grease issue - BMW R1200GS Forum : R1200 GS Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-Feb-2019, 08:04 AM (586) Thread Starter
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Final drive grease issue

Hello all-
I wanted to grease the splines on my final drive of 2015 GS. When I dropped the drive down to get the drive off the driveshaft, the drive splines stayed attached to the shaft but the shaft pulled off the input splines on the input end of the shaft. I was able to grease those splines and get the shaft back on without issue, but I can't get the rear end of the shaft off the final drive splines. Any magic that anyone has as a suggestion is appreciated. Also, is it "normal" for the front end of the shaft to come off the input splines during this operation? I've watched plenty of videos and never seen that happen in any of them.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-Feb-2019, 05:32 PM (980)
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No, it is not normal. But it also is not unheard of, either.

Things I might try to loosen the shaft from the FD input would be a heat gun and some gentle taps with a hammer as I rotated the shaft. I'm assuming some corrosion is holding the two pieces together and that the time to address that issue is NOW. Some penetrating fluid might help if you can direct it toward the splines. Kroil, Acetone/ACF mix, whatever.

I had mine apart at the bike's 36K service. I don't remember any issues at that time.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-Feb-2019, 06:35 PM (024)
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My 17 GSA at 24,000 miles behaved just as yours has. Rapping it with a dead blow hammer loosened mine.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 13-Feb-2019, 05:03 AM (460) Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Iíll go back to work on it with some penetrating oil and a plastic coated hammer. The bike has 32,000 miles and drive shaft had some rust on and there was a bit of water inside the swing arm. The rubber boots are in good shape and seemed to be fitting tightly, but is there any sort of sealant that should go on the boot/swing arm surface. Also, Iím assuming itís good practice that once I get the shaft off the final drive that I should pull the whole shaft out and check all the u-joints.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 13-Feb-2019, 11:46 AM (740)
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Water plus rust on the drive shaft is almost certainly indicates the cause of your problem. I hope both male and female splines are OK once you get them apart.

I coat the lip of the boots with some white lithium grease before assembling to help keep moisture out. I remember there being grease from the factory on my '05. I think there was some, but not as much, on my '13.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 18-Feb-2019, 06:05 AM (503) Thread Starter
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FD Grease

Update: Not able to get the shaft off the FD splines. Rusted in place. Two days of penetrating oil, tapping with hammer, etc. No go. Took the whole assembly to a local driveline shop where they are going to attempt to remove. U-joints are still fine, but if they can't get the shaft off and have to cut it off, I'll have to get a new one. Bike is a 2015 and I've had it a year. This is the first time I dropped the FD to look in there. My bad for not doing it before now. Although I've never done any water crossing, and the boots are in good shape, there was a bit of water in there. I don't understand why BMW does not include this very easy to do item in the normal 6k/12k service routines. Anyway, all that to say, check your final drives, it only takes a few minutes.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-Mar-2019, 11:48 AM (742)
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BMW uses a little white lithium grease on the boot to help keep moisture out of the drive shaft. Grease is a lubricant, not a sealant! Is there a way to pop the rear boot back to inspect the u-joint for rust without dropping the final drive unit? I just spent two days riding in the rain on my R1200gs Lc and would love to see if any water got past the rear boot.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-Mar-2019, 12:58 PM (790)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motormike View Post
BMW uses a little white lithium grease on the boot to help keep moisture out of the drive shaft. Grease is a lubricant, not a sealant! Is there a way to pop the rear boot back to inspect the u-joint for rust without dropping the final drive unit? I just spent two days riding in the rain on my R1200gs Lc and would love to see if any water got past the rear boot.
I do not think you will be able to see much.

Call it what you will but lithium grease works well at keeping moisture out of the driveshaft / final drive splines interface. I have a lot of miles on bikes that use lithium grease as a sealant and have never had it fail. If it bothers you, then open it up and clean/lube the splines and put the sealant of your choice on the boot. It is not a difficult job. There is a thread over on the GSpot forum on ADVRIDER on how to do it.

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

Last edited by Pterodactyl; 03-Mar-2019 at 01:01 PM (792).
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-Mar-2019, 06:46 PM (032)
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I found this to be the best write up on the FD lube process

I found this to be the best write up on the FD lube process

https://advrider.com/f/threads/r1200...orial.1129815/

These links are for the spline lube Honda moly
and the factory boot grease.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://smile.amazon.com/Honda-HN-08...PM0N3Z7RSEMHPG

ďThe only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.Ē
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-Mar-2019, 09:13 AM (634) Thread Starter
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Agreeing with Pterodactyle, you won'd see much if you don't tilt the FD down. Just pulling the boot back doesn't let you see in there an you definitely won't be able to grease anything.
Update on mine for anyone that ends up with the back of the drive shaft stuck to the FD splines: I took it to a local driveline specialist and he got the shaft separated from the splines. No damage to either and after some cleanup an wire-brushing, the shaft, yolks, drive splines, and u-joints all look like new. Had to cut the rubber boot off though in the process of getting the shaft off the FD.
Again, my two cents is that for the 15 minutes it takes to drop the FD and grease the splines, you also get to see inside the swing arm to know if there is any water in there. This is a very simple maintenance procedure.

On a site note: I know on older models, the front of the drive shaft was held onto the clutch output shaft via a circle inside the drive shaft yolk which dropped into a groove in the output shaft. I will look more closely, but I don't think my bike (2015 GS) has a circlip. When I tilted the FD down originally, the front of the shaft came sliding right off the output shaft with no effort. So there either is not a circlip, or mine was not engaged the way it should have been. I will check the front of the shaft tomorrow when I put the bike back together, but if anyone knows if there is/should be a circlip, I'd love to know.
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