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Old 01-28-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
apt13 OP
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spline lube and transmission questions

after a successful fork rebuild a couple weeks ago, i thought i'd try my hand at the famous "spline lube" while i have some garage access this winter. i've been reading up on a ton of posts and forums about the process of just pulling the transmission back an inch or so and doing it that way, but i've been thinking about going "all in" and taking it completely off and poking around a bit.

as i've mentioned in previous posts, i have zero history on the bike so i've been trying to get all the main parts checked out when i have the opportunity and i assume this will be the perfect time to check on other things while i have it all apart.

i haven't been able to find any posts where anybody does this specifically and was wondering if anyone could give me a general list of the "easy" things to check while i'm in there. i've got the clymers and haynes books which i assume will give me the process in getting the trans apart, but i'm not really sure what i'd be looking for and what would look bad or not.

things i can guess i should check (from what i've heard) would be the flywheel, rear main seal, neutral switch. lube the splines as my intention in the first place. anything else? what would i be looking for in those areas listed?

also, is there anything i should be careful with or avoid?

thanks in advance!
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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Depends a little on the mileage this machine has. A little on whether this is hard or easy miles, judgement call. And whether you want to do the rear seal just because you are the get it out of the way now kind of guy.

I recommend that you pull the trans out to do just the spline lube. Use Honda Moly 60, available at Honda dealers but they usually have to order it, or on line. You will be also greasing the rear wheel bearings and the swing arm bearings so you need wheel bearing grease, get the tub of grease that looks like a colorful margarine tub. You also need the gasket for between the swing arm and Final Drive, that's cheap. And before you take it apart look at the drive shaft boot and it's two clamps. If the boot is cracked replace and the clamps should be in good order.

The spline lube grease goes only on the male splines of the transmission input shaft. DO NOT put grease on the female splines of the clutch disk. You have been warned.

Also grease the splines of the rear wheel and away you go.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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Based on my very limited experience:

Look for oil leaking onto the shelf below the bell housing, if it's engine oil, the rear main seal or oil pump cover gasket is leaking. Might consider replacing both if you're in that deep. If it's hypoid oil, the gear box input seal is leaking.

If you determine that the RMS or oil cover is leaking and must be replaced, BLOCK THE CRANKSHAFT before you remove the flywheel. Some folks have trouble getting the oil cover screws out. An impact driver helps. Northwoods Airheads sells allen head screws to make this a non-issue going forward. You'll also have access to the clutch plate and spring, which you can measure for wear.

If you remove the swingarm to completely remove the gearbox, you'll have the chance to inspect the final drive splines. Use new bolts (short, without washers) when reattaching the driveshaft to the gearbox output.

I'm sure there're are things I missed. But I just went through this on my /6, and these were my learnings.

Good luck.

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Old 01-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
i've got the clymers and haynes books which i assume will give me the process in getting the trans apart
No. Do not disassemble the tranny based on having Clymers and Haynes. Not a good idea.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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The famous spline lube? Does your clutch have grabby engagement? If it doesn't, it doesn't need the splines lubed. Regular spline lubes are probably the biggest waste of time you can do for yourself since they don't help the bike. In my experience from working on tons of airheads, chances are highly likely that your bike needs some other maintenance way worse. Sure, I do it when people insist. I happily do it when they need it but that is rare. It is usually after the bike has been sitting for a long while. That has a lot more to do with grabby splines than mileage. Spline wear? I have seen just as many worn splines on bikes that got regularly lubed as not. Personally I never lube mine other than when I have my tranny out anyway for something for three decades now and have never had any worn spline issues.

Oil pump cover? Always heat the bolts/screws before you loosen them. Some people put red loctite on them! Those threads are often buggered for whatever reasons including people over tightening them. Use the proper inch pound torque wrench. The threads often need cleaning. Clean them with a thread chaser or a roll tap. Do not clean threads with cutting taps because they remove too much material during each pass. That's my advise. Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
The famous spline lube? Does your clutch have grabby engagement? If it doesn't, it doesn't need the splines lubed. Regular spline lubes are probably the biggest waste of time you can do for yourself since they don't help the bike. In my experience from working on tons of airheads, chances are highly likely that your bike needs some other maintenance way worse. Sure, I do it when people insist. I happily do it when they need it but that is rare. It is usually after the bike has been sitting for a long while. That has a lot more to do with grabby splines than mileage. Spline wear? I have seen just as many worn splines on bikes that got regularly lubed as not. Personally I never lube mine other than when I have my tranny out anyway for something for three decades now and have never had any worn spline issues.

Oil pump cover? Always heat the bolts/screws before you loosen them. Some people put red loctite on them! Those threads are often buggered for whatever reasons including people over tightening them. Use the proper inch pound torque wrench. The threads often need cleaning. Clean them with a thread chaser or a roll tap. Do not clean threads with cutting taps because they remove too much material during each pass. That's my advise. Good luck!
Yep, I couldn't have said it better. Don't waste your time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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fine guys! i'll forget about it!
hmmm, what else can i obsess over?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apt13 View Post
fine guys! i'll forget about it!
hmmm, what else can i obsess over?
Your brain is working like an on/off switch. Lazy mode. Don't let it go there. Don't forget about spline lubes. They sometimes need one! But at the same time don't think it does need one when it doesn't. If your clutch engagement/disengagement isn't grabby, you don't need a spline lube. That isn't too much more effort than yes/no. Just trying to foster a good wrenching frame of mind.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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......Obsessions over ATE brake calipers are always fun.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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i'll be showing more of my "noobness" here, but can you briefly explain to me what a "grabby clutch" feels like? haha. sorry. please commence eye-rolling as needed.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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The lever isn't linear but rather extremely exponential.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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Change the fork oil and or rebuild the dampners, align the tubes, replace steering head bearings?
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:00 AM   #13
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Grabby clutch? Seems to engage a bit quicker that it ought to, or seems to chatter a little on engagement (pile on the subjectivity here). If the splines have never had moly lube applied, they'll probably benefit (IMO). One reason a clutch can be grabby is that the clutch plate does not slide freely under load on the input shaft. Moly lube is magic-- it contains molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) which is like little atom-sized ball bearings that (supposedly) actually embed themselves in the steel so the "dry lubricant" properties are still there after the greasy has gone away.

Do it once to a new-to-you bike to reset that maintenance item to zero. Pulling the tranny is a good bonding experience, lets you get up close and personal to check the clutch plates, the engine and tranny oil seals, the throwout bearing, etc, etc. Get that merit badge under your belt and you, too, can pontificate.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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Well guys, Yesterday I pulled my gearbox for a spline lube at 10K since the last one. The splines were clean except for what little bit remained in the valleys of the teeth. Bike shifted and the clutch action was fine before hand. Previouly used Lubriplate 3000 now used a 50/50 mixture of Loctite Moly paste and Wurth 3000. The Lubriplate has a min of 3% moly the Loctite has 65% plus moly. Thats why I switched.

My 81 R100RT has 161K miles on it. On Thusdsay I went to a dealer in Pittsburgh and on the service rack was an R1100S oilhead with trashed splines. Both the hub and the input shaft were gone....at 15,000. Was the cause, lack of lube due to age, no lube or an alignment problem, who knows.

Sure makes a guy wonder. Obviously I believe in lube. Having owned an antique airplane in the past, preventative maintenance is in my blood.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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It surely doesn't hurt anything lubing them IF done correctly. I just thought of another thing lubing them often screws up besides oiling the clutch plate: Drive shaft bolts coming loose. Very related when you think about it. I know from seeing many a worn airhead input spline that has been lubed regularly that lubing them does not save them from wear. I also know from tightening down literally hundreds of drive shaft bolts that if you tighten them down correctly, they don't come loose. Without a washer they need nothing but torqued down correctly and they never come loose. Loctite won't keep them from coming loose. Tightening them down will although I think some need to use loctite in order to remember to tighten things. It helps in that way for some. In the mean time 100RT and others out there, my experience has me betting your bike really needs something else worked on way more than those splines. Not always! But most of the time.

BTW, dry splines do not mean they need lubed. Most greases go dry there very quickly. That's the whole point of using moly. It is a dry lubricant.

Now before someone gets the itching to come after me personally for insisting there is only my way and no other way. Try reading what I wrote above again. I am here writing another post to get a message out that I rarely read on the net. Bond with your bike in a meaningful way. That way it matters. Harder to do yes I know but isn't that the way things most often work?

On tightening the drive shaft bolts: I highly suspect that if more people got a torque adapter and used a torque wrench to tighten down the drive shaft bolts they would probably just then realize just how tight those bolts are suppose to be. Those are tough threads and bolts!
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