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Many of those videos are very helpful - HOWEVER - I have just finished lubing the splines on my 2016 GSA and it was a total disaster of an exercise!!! I pulled the entire driveshaft out, cleaned everything up and lubed everything and then went to reassemble everything. I had little trouble inserting the driveshaft on to the gearbox end BUT the final drive end took me the better part of 2 days of trying and retrying before it managed to pop on!!!!!! I actually ended up inventing new swear words! It just seems to be the luck of the draw - when it eventually popped on it was totally without any pressure or resistence. So - be warned and be patient!
 

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For me the vast majority of the time it just slides right back on, however every once in a while it takes quite a bit or cursing to get it back on. You need to get just the right swear word.
 

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2021 BMW R1250 GS Adventure
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My "trick" is to use a length of 16 gauge house wire through the u-joint to hold the shaft in the right place and angle while I tilt up the drive unit. I use the same trick to get the front connection as well. I've found that it helps to level the swing arm when installing the front, I use a couple of ratchet straps to raise up the swing arm.
 
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My "trick" is to use a length of 16 gauge house wire through the u-joint to hold the shaft in the right place and angle while I tilt up the drive unit. I use the same trick to get the front connection as well. I've found that it helps to level the swing arm when installing the front, I use a couple of ratchet straps to raise up the swing arm.
I have a piece of string trimmer line I use (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm headed to Cape Breton and NFLD in two weeks and decided to have the dealer crack the spline, grab a shot, and throw a bunch of Liqui-Moly grease and put her all back together. Looks like the previous owner was a obsessive as me, cause there was loads of grease on it already and very little corrosion.

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Hey guys, when you grease the splines do you grease both end of the shaft, or just the lower part like a lot of video?
Personally when I get a new to me GS I pull the driveshaft and clean all the splines (upper and lower) then apply a thin film of spline lube to the male and female splines and rub a thin film of axle grease on the driveshaft to help keep corrosion at bay. Not to start a spline lube war but since Moly Paste 60 is no longer available I've gone to Wurth SIG (Super Impact Grease) 3000. A 14oz tube is $26 from MG Cycles. It sticks like dog $hit in a Vibram boot sole does not fling and withstands pressures of 65,000lbs. If anyone local to me would like some bring an old film container or the like over and I'll fill'er up. FWIW a film container is easily good for 15 or 20 spline lubes.

The idea is to not glob on as much lube as you can as most of it will be pushed out when the spline mate and then flung all over the interior of the swingarm making a sticky mess for dust and debris to stick too. A thin film is all you need and flux brushes are a good way to apply it. A 36 pack at HF is $2.99 so cheap as chips and disposable.

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I've done both front and rear last year, when my bike was only 6 months old. I couldn't remove the shaft from the front splines, no metter how hard I tried. It was moving freely but snap ring wouldn't let go. However, I lubed the front from the top by moving the splines in and out and using small paint brush.
As for lubes, I used "Castrol Molub Alloy Paste TA" for the splines and "Staburags NBU 30 PTM" for boot's sealing.
For splines, you can use:
  • "Optimoly TA"
  • "Castrol Optimol Paste TA"
  • "Castrol Molub Alloy Paste TA"
  • "Honda Moly 60"
  • "Honda M-77"
 

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Personally when I get a new to me GS I pull the driveshaft and clean all the splines (upper and lower) then apply a thin film of spline lube to the male and female splines and rub a thin film of axle grease on the driveshaft to help keep corrosion at bay. Not to start a spline lube war but since Moly Paste 60 is no longer available I've gone to Wurth SIG (Super Impact Grease) 3000. A 14oz tube is $26 from MG Cycles. It sticks like dog $hit in a Vibram boot sole does not fling nd withstands pressures of 65,000lbs. If anyone local to me would like some bring an old film container or the like over and I'll fill'er up. FWIW a film container is easily for 15 or 20 spline lubes.

The idea is to not glob on as much lube as you can as most of it will be pushed out when the spline mate and then flung all over the interior of the swingarm making a sticky mess for dust and debris to stick too. A thin film is all you need and lux brushes are a good way to apply it. A 36 pack at HF is $2.99 so cheap as chip and disposable.

View attachment 33845
I am about to have my drive shaft open again as part of the 12k transmission and final drive oil changes. How hard is it to get the drive shaft in and out of the transmission side? So far since owning my bike (2009 GS) I only lubed the final drive side splines without trying to dislodge the front side, out of fear I wouldn’t be able to put it back together.

The videos I have seen so far either ignore the front splines or they go all in on the other extreme to remove the entire swing arm to replace a broken front rubber boot, for example.
 

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I am about to have my drive shaft open again as part of the 12k transmission and final drive oil changes. How hard is it to get the drive shaft in and out of the transmission side? So far since owning my bike (2009 GS) I only lubed the final drive side splines without trying to dislodge the front side, out of fear I wouldn’t be able to put it back together.

The videos I have seen so far either ignore the front splines or they go all in on the other extreme to remove the entire swing arm to replace a broken front rubber boot, for example.
Its not hard. Once the rear wheel is up off the ground and the rear drive hinged down I find it easier to remove the shock and then put a jack under the swingarm to elevate it until its parallel with the ground. Then you can remove and reinstall the drive shaft fairly easily.

I will say that since you are going to be cleaning and lubing the transmission splines you'll have to deal with the transmission boot. Pull it back of the transmission and then use a screwdriver to pry the driveline back to pop it off the circlip retention ring. Then the shaft will pull easily out the back of the swingarm. Now is a good time to have a new upper swingarm boot on hand so if the old one is torn or dry rotted you can replace it.

Next clean and lube the male splines off the transmission output shaft then reinstall the boot (do not zip tie it to the transmission housing yet. Sometimes when refitting the driveshaft it helps to have a 3rd hand to hold back the rubber so you can use a pick to help line up the U-joint.

Another thing that occurs is when a U-joint is floppy gravity wants to make it fall down so it hard to line up on the trans shaft. I have heard that putting the shaft in the freezer will stiffen the grease and allow the U-joint to stay in position while you line it up. IDK I've never done that but surely worth a try.

Now in all honesty since the shock is already out and caliper/speedo sensor is off by removing a couple more fasteners and the rear drive I simply go a step further and remove the swing arm. Then you can check the pivot bearings and cleaning lubing and replacing the boot is 100X simpler. So is the drive shaft installation. Clean lube the splines insert and seat the drive shaft. Install the rubber boot on the swingarm side of the swingarm then slide it over the shaft and into place and install the pivot bolts. The few extra minutes to remove the swingarm will save you frustration and time trying to slide the driveshaft up through the swingarm.

Below is a sheet I've made with the torque specs for the swing arm installation. If you are going to go this far I would also have a new set of swingarm pivot bearings on hand just in case the old one are worn out. To remove the bearing races a blind bearing puller is nice. The right side bearing has a notch in the swingarm casting (see pic below) that you'll need a drift from the left side to start knocking the right side race out. Once it moves a fraction of and inch the blind puller will then be used to pull it the rest of the way. The left side you can go straight to the blind bearing puller as the swingarm casting is a little different and allows some of the bearing race to be exposed and able to be grabbed by the blind bearing puller flutes.

If you cannot find swingarm bearings at a reasonable cost let me know. I can send you a set of tapered roller bearings # 30203 - 17 x 40 x 13.25. Unlike the OEM these are not sealed one side like the OEM SKF bearings. However the SKF bearings are proprietary to BMW and very expensive. The good news is if you want to seal the new bearings you can gently pry off the old seals and apply them to the new bearings. The other thing to do is skip the seal and just pack the bearing with quality bearing/axle grease and install them as is. The seal really doesn't do anything since the back side of the bearing is exposed. Dirt and water can still enter from the backside.

Here is the torque spec sheet:

Font String instrument Art Auto part Motor vehicle




Here is the notch I was referring too in the swingarm where you'll need a drift from the other side to start moving the race: FWIT any smaller diameter piece of metal will work for a drift. I use either a section of 1/2" box tube or 1/2 " all thread rod I have laying around.


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Door Rim Gas
 
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I have to say that the info from all guys on this forum is priceless for a newbie like me… thanks a lot….
I know that splines need lube with moly paste and the boot with the other one i forgot the name…
But do you put something on the shaft itself to give it a little protection?
And for the pivot point, any bearing grease or yall recommend one?
 

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I have to say that the info from all guys on this forum is priceless for a newbie like me… thanks a lot….
I know that splines need lube with moly paste and the boot with the other one i forgot the name…
But do you put something on the shaft itself to give it a little protection?
And for the pivot point, any bearing grease or yall recommend one?
Are you talking about the face of the transmission shaft seal? If so I do not put anything on it. Wipe it clean and go about my day. Thee is nothing you are going to do to "condition" it. If its not leaking its good.

As for pivot bearing grease any all purpose bearing/axle grease is all that is needed. Same stuff you use to pack the bearings on you trailer. Here in the States a 1lb tub is about $5. For me brand is of no concern.
 

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I am about to have my drive shaft open again as part of the 12k transmission and final drive oil changes. How hard is it to get the drive shaft in and out of the transmission side? So far since owning my bike (2009 GS) I only lubed the final drive side splines without trying to dislodge the front side, out of fear I wouldn’t be able to put it back together.

The videos I have seen so far either ignore the front splines or they go all in on the other extreme to remove the entire swing arm to replace a broken front rubber boot, for example.
+1 on pulling the whole swingarm to clean and lube the swingarm bearings (and replace if needed). If not done in 13 years, it should be done. Give a good look to that front driveshaft boot and replace if it has any cracks.
 

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+1 on pulling the whole swingarm to clean and lube the swingarm bearings (and replace if needed). If not done in 13 years, it should be done. Give a good look to that front driveshaft boot and replace if it has any cracks.
While checking rubber boots and the tub of grease is out and handy its also a great time to check the ball joint rubber on the telelever.

Its really not a bad idea to keep a set if all three rubber boots on hand especially if you plan on keeping the bike. That way when they do rip, tear or dry rot as soon as you discover it you can replace it. I've seen all kind of botch jobs from multiple wraps, of electrical tape, caulking seared on to being able to see daylight through the cracks. None of the band-aids work all that well and none are as good as fresh replacements.
 
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Its not hard. Once the rear wheel is up off the ground and the rear drive hinged down I find it easier to remove the shock and then put a jack under the swingarm to elevate it until its parallel with the ground. Then you can remove and reinstall the drive shaft fairly easily.

I will say that since you are going to be cleaning and lubing the transmission splines you'll have to deal with the transmission boot. Pull it back of the transmission and then use a screwdriver to pry the driveline back to pop it off the circlip retention ring. Then the shaft will pull easily out the back of the swingarm. Now is a good time to have a new upper swingarm boot on hand so if the old one is torn or dry rotted you can replace it.

Next clean and lube the male splines off the transmission output shaft then reinstall the boot (do not zip tie it to the transmission housing yet. Sometimes when refitting the driveshaft it helps to have a 3rd hand to hold back the rubber so you can use a pick to help line up the U-joint.

Another thing that occurs is when a U-joint is floppy gravity wants to make it fall down so it hard to line up on the trans shaft. I have heard that putting the shaft in the freezer will stiffen the grease and allow the U-joint to stay in position while you line it up. IDK I've never done that but surely worth a try.

Now in all honesty since the shock is already out and caliper/speedo sensor is off by removing a couple more fasteners and the rear drive I simply go a step further and remove the swing arm. Then you can check the pivot bearings and cleaning lubing and replacing the boot is 100X simpler. So is the drive shaft installation. Clean lube the splines insert and seat the drive shaft. Install the rubber boot on the swingarm side of the swingarm then slide it over the shaft and into place and install the pivot bolts. The few extra minutes to remove the swingarm will save you frustration and time trying to slide the driveshaft up through the swingarm.

Below is a sheet I've made with the torque specs for the swing arm installation. If you are going to go this far I would also have a new set of swingarm pivot bearings on hand just in case the old one are worn out. To remove the bearing races a blind bearing puller is nice. The right side bearing has a notch in the swingarm casting (see pic below) that you'll need a drift from the left side to start knocking the right side race out. Once it moves a fraction of and inch the blind puller will then be used to pull it the rest of the way. The left side you can go straight to the blind bearing puller as the swingarm casting is a little different and allows some of the bearing race to be exposed and able to be grabbed by the blind bearing puller flutes.

If you cannot find swingarm bearings at a reasonable cost let me know. I can send you a set of tapered roller bearings # 30203 - 17 x 40 x 13.25. Unlike the OEM these are not sealed one side like the OEM SKF bearings. However the SKF bearings are proprietary to BMW and very expensive. The good news is if you want to seal the new bearings you can gently pry off the old seals and apply them to the new bearings. The other thing to do is skip the seal and just pack the bearing with quality bearing/axle grease and install them as is. The seal really doesn't do anything since the back side of the bearing is exposed. Dirt and water can still enter from the backside.

Here is the torque spec sheet:

View attachment 33854



Here is the notch I was referring too in the swingarm where you'll need a drift from the other side to start moving the race: FWIT any smaller diameter piece of metal will work for a drift. I use either a section of 1/2" box tube or 1/2 " all thread rod I have laying around.


View attachment 33855
Thank you for the write up! I’ll definitely do this next time I drop the FD. The pivot bearings have never been checked and my boots and other rubber parts on the bike are all still original, so may not be perfect even if they look fine on a cursory inspection.

I went ahead last night and changed the gear+FD oils and cleaned and reinstalled the rear end of the shaft, before seeing these posts. There were a few drops of water in there but overall it looked good and I can’t see any defects in the boots, although admittedly it seems impossible to do a full assessment of the front one without removing it.

Having the proper Staburags assembly paste for the boot will hopefully prevent any future water ingress.

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Not to pick a nit but when applying sealing grease to the rubber boot you don't want to paint it on you need a bead of grease applied that will compress and squeeze out when you install creating the seal

Apply a 1/4 inch bead as shown by the yellow line. Same goes for the other side. I prefer grease in a squeeze tube with a nozzle. It makes applying a breeze.

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Not to pick a nit but when applying sealing grease to the rubber boot you don't want to paint it on you need a bead of grease applied that will compress and squeeze out when you install creating the seal

Apply a 1/4 inch bead as shown by the yellow line. Same goes for the other side. I prefer grease in a squeeze tube with a nozzle. It makes applying a breeze.

View attachment 33866

View attachment 33867
Ok, thanks! I hadn’t seen any instruction how to apply the assembly grease. Oh well, with the off-roading and rain riding I have been doing I am sure I’ll open it again in less than year for yet another inspection.

By the way for others reading this, the full name for the BMW recommended product is Staburags NBU 30 PTM and it is sold in small quantities on eBay.
 
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