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Dr. Splinelube…or How I stopped worrying and learn to love the bike…

Dr. Splinelube…or How I stopped worrying and learn to love the bike…

A How-to Guide to lube input splines on an oilhead. The usual disclaimers apply…like if you are not comfortable removing you bodywork, don’t do this…if you are not comfortable changing your oil and filter, don’t do this…if you are not comfortable disassembling something that you, yourself, ride and think you might have forgotten to tighten widget A and neglected to properly lube widget B, and your mind runs rampant with images of the bike self-destructing with you on it and sending you to a fiery death, I would recommend you seek help from a qualified individual…oh, and don’t do this. I very well might have forgotten or left out a step or small bolt somewhere…if you actually attempt this project, hopefully, you won’t reach an impasse and freeze. You may now proceed with the read.

Tools: Nothing proprietary. The usual suspects. Although this was the first time I ever used pneumatic tools…sweet. Make sure to have some fuel hose clamps and such as one of the fuel lines will need to be clamped off. Get some caps for the fuel lines so they won’t get clogged or contaminated.

Step 1: Load bike onto trailer.

Step 2: Drive for 17 hours or 1000 miles, whichever comes first. (This step is optional if you have the appropriate know-how and facility to proceed without the trip).

Step 3: Unload bike.

Step 4: Attach bike to custom fabricated engine mount in conjunction with an auto lift. The oilhead engine is taped underneath for the factory engine stand. There is also a hole (two) that are used for the front spoiler or Boxer Cup belly pan that is also used to mount the engine to the stand. The clamp on the crossover pipe from the headers needs to be loosened when using this particular engine mounting system. Once all together, the bike is very stable and ready to be wrenched upon. Remove the intake snorkel and disconnect the battery and remove it as well. This will require removing the two bolts holding the tank down. You won’t need to remove the tank, but you will be disconnecting fuel lines later.





Step 5: Get organized. Consider a checklist for disassembly/reassembly. Bill S. also recommended using small boxes for the nuts and bolts along the way, using one for each major phase (i.e. one box for bodywork, one for rear sub frame, one for the main frame, etc). Not only did it make it easier to sort through the fasteners when needed during reassembling, but it also helps with the sensation that you have taken you bike almost completely apart and you may not be able to put it back together again…even with the help with all the King’s horses and all the King’s men.

Step 6: Once the bike is attached to the lift and the appropriate bodywork is removed, the next step is simple; start cutting all the zip ties in and around the sub frame. Most of the wiring with stays with the bike once you remove the sub frame. There are some easy to identify connections on the wire looms that need disconnecting. One of these is the speed sensor; just leave that attached at the rear drive, as the wire will stay with the rear drive.

Step 7: Remove rear brake from the bike. Wrap it in a shop towel or something to keep it from hitting the swing arm and such.

Step 8: Removing the rear sub frame. This is easier than you may think. The rear sub frame is held onto the bike with four, count them with me…1…2…3…4, bolts. Of course there is this little thing called an exhaust system that may have some pipe connections requiring removal or disconnect. Also, you need to remove the two bolts for the foot pegs…the right one will go with the rear sub frame (but those bolts don’t count towards the sub frame). On the Laser race system, it uses only springs to hold the pieces together. The stock system, as well as the Staintune use clamps that need to be loosened. Once all the bolts are removed, the rear sub frame is ready for removal. Remember the rear Find an appropriate box to rest it on while you resume the task at hand. At this point the S looks look like a bad ass hotrod of a bike with a little stubby of an exhaust pipe running under and out the left side. The swing arm and rear wheel look sweet out in the open.





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2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX

Last edited by repoe3; 01-04-2005 at 05:46 AM..
Old 01-03-2005, 06:56 AM
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Step 9: Removal of the main frame, with the swing arm and rear wheel attached. You will need to remove the bolt securing the shifter to the frame. There is a plate secured with two bolts to the main frame right above the rear shock, remove those bolts. There are several bolts and/or threaded rods with nuts securing the main frame to the engine. You will also need to remove the kickstand bolts as it is in the way of some of the main frame bolts. This is doable with one person, but this entire process is made easier with one helper. Bill S. is second to none with tearing things apart and putting them back together, so he was able to do his on his own. I was happy to get in the way am move whatever tool might be needed to the farthest place in the shop to help slow him down long enough to take pictures. You will need to snip the zip tie holding the bleeder for the clutch as it is hidden in the main frame. The drive shaft needs to be popped off its retainer clip with a big screwdriver. Worry not, just pry until it pops free. At this point you can slide the whole thing back and off the bike. The airbox has some studs that the frame line up with, just something to be aware. Also, there is a shim/washer on the left side of the bike, right under the shifter arm. Make sure you see this when removing the main frame and not where to put it back. Once off, wheel it out of the way. For each of these major steps, a box was used…just a reminder so you are not throwing al the nuts and bolts into the same box.












Step 10: Separation of the airbox from the bike. The airbox will not actually be removed simply separated from the throttle bodies and some of its connections and swung out to the right of the bike. There is the air temperature sensor on the top of the airbox as well as the hoses connected to the injectors that need to be popped off the front of the airbox. Next remove the neutral sensor and then remove the slave cylinder. Do not squeeze the clutch lever at this point. Since we were in there and doing work, I took the opportunity to drain the tranny oil out. It is so much easier with half the bike missing. At some point fuel lines are disconnected and plugged and clamped off…having done so by now should probably work fine…sure. Once the airbox is loose, pull it back carefully and hang it over to the right of the bike. Oh, while you have the airbox of the throttle bodies, take some carb cleaner and clean out the carbon build up if you see any. Also put rags or something over the throttle bodies to avoid foreign debris from entering your engine.



Step 11: Removal of the starter. This is straightforward and takes only a couple of bolts. Just be careful, apparently these things don’t like to be used as basketballs or treated poorly; something about ceramic magnets and the position of the Earth on its axis.
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I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 07:02 AM
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Step 12: Removal of the gearbox/tranny. From the previous step, removal of the neutral sensor and salve cylinder are required. There are several bolts along the perimeter of the gearbox. With the slave cylinder removed, you may be able to pull the clutch pushrod out with some pliers…mine however would not budge. Some of the bolts holding the gearbox on are longer than others. In order to remove the gearbox straight off the engine and not bend the clutch push rod, you can remove the longer bolts from the bottom and swap them out with the top ones. This lets you slide the whole thing back easily. The longer a gearbox has been on the bike, the tougher it might take to whack it free. A few whacks with a rubber mallet should get it moving. At this point make sure all the bolts should be removed. Carry the gearbox to the nearest workbench and have a look. At this point you are able to view the infamous input shaft splines on the gear box as well as the condition of the clutch splines. While BMW’s mantra is that these do not need service…they are clearly out of their mind. These not only need service, but required service at 15k miles simply because the tech at the factory ran out of grease or there was a shortage in Germany. While the surface of the splines were clearly dry and rusty, there was no unusual or premature wearing. The splines can be cleaned with a wire brush. In fact a .40 or .45 breech/barrel brush works like a champ. Just make sure on the clutch splines that you brush the rust out and not into the clutch area. The input shaft splines had a machined surfaced that actually had ridges, they were not smooth. Everything looked good at this point; it was just a matter of cleaning them, photographing the pre and post conditions, then reassembling the bike.









Step 13: Lucky 13…this isn’t really a step, but we had intended on checking the rear drive pivot bearings once we reassembled the bike, so here it goes. I managed to put us in a position of doing it before we had the bike fully assembled. Who knew the drive shaft was two parts and could actually separate when you try to slide the thing back on the bike?!? Remove the rear wheel and set aside. Ignite a propane torch and starting throwing some heat into the stud pivot pin. This will take a few minutes and you should be careful not the put so much heat into the area that you discolor your paint. You can thank BMW again for this loving use of nearly permanent loctite. Once we had thrown some heat at it, we tried to remove it. Notta, nothing, zilch. Some more heat was administered. Finally she started to move, only to make it halfway out and fuse itself to the inside of the swing arm. Additional heat was applied and she finally came out, but sans threads. It has sacrificed itself inside the swing arm. There was a moment of silence for the wounded part and some concern for the rear swing arm. After some very careful procedure, Bill S. was able to remove the carnage from the swing arm and all looks good. He machined off the remnants of the threads and off we went to check out the bearings. We looked at this effort as improving the power to weight ratio. They showed some odd wear, but nothing too major since they will more than likely be replaced in the next 5k miles. With a new pivot pin stud bolt on its way, I may as well order the bearings too. The torque arm will also need to be unbolted from the rear drive to pull it out of the swing arm. Reassembly is much less stressful. To be really anal and setup the rear torque arm busing under some preload, have some one tighten the torque arm back on while you are sitting on it. Reassembling the rear drive to the swing arm, reinstall the pivot pin stud bolt and then the other side pivot pin and adjust accordingly to get proper tension/drag on the bearings…not too loose, not too tight.







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I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX

Last edited by repoe3; 01-03-2005 at 07:41 AM..
Old 01-03-2005, 07:11 AM
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Step 14: Reinstalling the swing arm and shaft drive. Make sure you line up or phase the drive shaft. For the most part, you are home free with the reassembly…in order to obtain the detailed instructions for that…just read this how-to backwards.

Step 15: Start her up and ride it around to make sure nothing sounds or feel funny. That fact that she starts is a good sign.

Step 16: Sit back and gaze upon the modern marvels of machine and know-how.

Step 17: Remember the 1000 miles traveled in the first few steps? Well if you did this optional step, you can then celebrate by doing a winter ride in Arkansas through their mountains.










YMMV

repoe3
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:12 AM
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And just how often is this procedure required on the "supposedly" low maintenance BMW twin? I hope I never hear you guys complaining about maintaining a Ducati again.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:14 AM
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Does it shift correctly now? IS the clutch actuation smoother?
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bikpaintr
And just how often is this procedure required on the "supposedly" low maintenance BMW twin? I hope I never hear you guys complaining about maintaining a Ducati again.
according to BMW, never...but every 20-25k miles wouldnt be out of the question.

the whole thing took maybe 4-5 hours, but we woudl stop and come back to it and took lunch, etc.

repoe3
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonyRR
Does it shift correctly now? IS the clutch actuation smoother?
yes, the shifting is smooth as butter and i think better than it was when new. i forgot to mention that in thw write-up. there was nothing else of concern.

repoe3
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2009 GSXR 750
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2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 07:17 AM
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RUST! Didn't you say it looked like they used no grease on the assembly? That was pretty rusty man!
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:37 AM
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yeah there was rust. but the surface had not pitted or deformed as of yet.

repoe3
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2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 07:40 AM
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repoe3:

Could the entire rear subframe, main frame, trans and final drive be removed as a unit? If not, what makes this impossible? (I'm thinking access to the "bell housing" fasteners on the trans in front of the air box...?)

Just trying to dream up a shortcut...

best,

Dave
99 R11S
Old 01-03-2005, 07:44 AM
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Stsay tunede as Moybin and I are working on a PERMANENT fix for this problematic shaft. What that might entail, I'm not sure yet. He and I are looking at a couple of different approaches to preclude ever having to fix it again, except for changing worn-out clutch discs....
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:48 AM
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and now for the thank you to Bill S. not only was he and his family very hospitable to me during my stay, but the opportunity to work with someone as experienced and capable made this job easy...REALLY. he even let me loose with a MIG welder...sweet...look out OCC boys, you might have some competition in the future. of course i would want to make cool looking bikes that were actually fun to ride.

repoe3
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DavidSoine
repoe3:

Could the entire rear subframe, main frame, trans and final drive be removed as a unit? If not, what makes this impossible? (I'm thinking access to the "bell housing" fasteners on the trans in front of the air box...?)

Just trying to dream up a shortcut...

best,

Dave
99 R11S
this is the best way, besides, with all the fuel lines and other stuff running around, having the two as one unit would make it very difficult to reinstall. bill s., feel free to add anything to this.

repoe3
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I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 07:53 AM
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repoe3

I flashed over the writeup, eyes dazzled by great pix. What lubricant did you actually use on your splines?
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:03 AM
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Repoe, if you liked MIG, wat till you try TIG; like 'electric oxyaceteline'...all the best frame builders use a TIG machine; nothing else even comes close....
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:03 AM
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And Moybin, OUR input shafts wlll be far superior to the teutonic trash getrag foists off on us unsuspecting 'merikans...
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moybin
repoe3

I flashed over the writeup, eyes dazzled by great pix. What lubricant did you actually use on your splines?
honda moly has been recommended, but we used silkolene grease for this one. it seemed to be up to the task.



repoe3
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I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 08:11 AM
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To all, in support of the post by JonyRR:

I displayed a partially worn input shaft (mine) to my friend and working acquaintence, Bill. Bill owns a custom machine shop (CNC, all the good stuff) and specializes in industrial shaft remanufacturing. He does this for ADM, Sethness Caramel, Equistar (polyethylene factory), and others, including a nuclear power plant.

Per Bill: there is no way the damaged/wiped out splines on these shafts can be built back up with welding or plasma arc. He says the heat input would damage the bearing bosses (which he says are heat treated) and would distort the shaft beyond use.

Having eliminated rebuilding an old shaft, I have talked him into looking at my bad shaft after I disassemble it for replacement. He will try to come up with a dollar figure to manufacture a new shaft out of a chrome-moly high strength steel. Our shafts are NOT made of this type of material.

JonyRR and I are looking at permanent coatings for the splines. JonyRR is leaning toward a microplating system. I have the materials to apply Gun Kote, a bake on/bake in molydisulphide surface treatment (think teflon for metal) that is used for Navy SEALs weapons (among many other things). I HAVE applied and used Gun Kote and can attest to the stuff being tough as nails. My personal plan is to apply to both the new splines and the splines of the clutch plate itself.

Lastly, I am going to use a high tech grease that is formulated for high temperature and high load applications in steel mills. It is called a "kiln" grease. It has aluminum and silver as additives for better lubrication.

Only time will tell.

We will keep you posted.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JonyRR
Repoe, if you liked MIG, wat till you try TIG; like 'electric oxyaceteline'...all the best frame builders use a TIG machine; nothing else even comes close....
i hear ya, i just need a shop and the space for the tools to play.

repoe3
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I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
2009 GSXR 750
2004 Tuono
2004 R1100SBX
Old 01-03-2005, 08:18 AM
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