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Old 03-03-2006, 06:05 PM   #1
homerj OP
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Question Drive Shaft Confusion

Something that I thought was pretty clear has become pretty muddled. While I was at the local BMW dealership I asked for price check on a driveshaft for a 93 GSPD since mine has 30K miles on it. The parts guys looked at me like I'd just sprouted a eyeball in the middle of my forehead. They'd never heard of a drive shaft needing swapping in the 30 to 50K range. Nice guys that they are; they checked with the maint. supervisor. I was told the shaft only needs inspection at this point. depending on the findings it may or may not need replacement. I've independently verified that the shaft only needs to be inspected and tested for play in the u joints. The question is : how can I tell if there's too much play in the u joints? Or is it something you only know once you feel it?
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerj
Something that I thought was pretty clear has become pretty muddled. While I was at the local BMW dealership I asked for price check on a driveshaft for a 93 GSPD since mine has 30K miles on it. The parts guys looked at me like I'd just sprouted a eyeball in the middle of my forehead. They'd never heard of a drive shaft needing swapping in the 30 to 50K range. Nice guys that they are; they checked with the maint. supervisor. I was told the shaft only needs inspection at this point. depending on the findings it may or may not need replacement. I've independently verified that the shaft only needs to be inspected and tested for play in the u joints. The question is : how can I tell if there's too much play in the u joints? Or is it something you only know once you feel it?
Place the bike on the centerstand, engine off: rotate the rear wheel by hand while listening with your ear close to the rear boot on the Paralever: if you can hear a 'clicking' noise as the driveshaft rotates, the shaft is ready for replacement.

mully
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerj
Something that I thought was pretty clear has become pretty muddled. While I was at the local BMW dealership I asked for price check on a driveshaft for a 93 GSPD since mine has 30K miles on it. The parts guys looked at me like I'd just sprouted a eyeball in the middle of my forehead. They'd never heard of a drive shaft needing swapping in the 30 to 50K range. Nice guys that they are; they checked with the maint. supervisor. I was told the shaft only needs inspection at this point. depending on the findings it may or may not need replacement. I've independently verified that the shaft only needs to be inspected and tested for play in the u joints. The question is : how can I tell if there's too much play in the u joints? Or is it something you only know once you feel it?
At 30k miles you need a spline lube. This job requires removal of the swingarm which will give you access to the driveshaft. With the shaft in hand, look for misalignment between the ujoints. If excessive, >10-15 degrees, then replace. Twist the driveshaft back and forth with your hands looking for play in the ujoints. Any play at all and the driveshaft should be replaced.

A new driveshaft will have perfect phasing (no angular difference) between the ujoints and the ujoints will feel somewhat stiff. They will not flop around or have any play in them.

I replaced a driveshaft at 25k miles which had 10 degrees of phase error and loose but not sloppy ujoints. I'm sure this shaft could have last 10-15k more but I was already there doing a tranny rebuild. Here's a picture of the shaft.

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Old 03-05-2006, 12:05 AM   #4
huhwhye
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You guys replacing with a BMW shaft?

I know my bike will need a shaft soon enough. I don't know if a BMW part is the best way to go. We all know they don't last.

I love the bike and live with its flaws. I have corrected some of them. But I too want to know how to handle this as well. There has to be a better way.
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:50 AM   #5
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huhwhye
You guys replacing with a BMW shaft?

I know my bike will need a shaft soon enough. I don't know if a BMW part is the best way to go. We all know they don't last.

I love the bike and live with its flaws. I have corrected some of them. But I too want to know how to handle this as well. There has to be a better way.
Gosh, if there's another option for this unit [other than getting another bike] I'd like to know. I'm on my third one after 100,000kms.
Ciao, Steve G.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:02 AM   #6
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The life of these shafts varies tons. If you ride two up or with gear most of the time it lowers the angle and they last longer. There are options as far as folks putting grease fittings in them and the like. Brunos in Canada does alot of this, including basic rebuilding of the shafts. There is a place in Green Bay Wis, that rebuilds the shafts also. I can did up the phone number if someone whats. There was some folks in NO. IL working on a shaft using a CV joints, I haven't heard of their progress for awhile and don't know what the scoop is. JT
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:55 PM   #7
homerj OP
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Question Phase Difference?


A new driveshaft will have perfect phasing (no angular difference) between the ujoints and the ujoints will feel somewhat stiff. They will not flop around or have any play in them.


Thanks for the info.

I just want to make sure I understand this term. Phase difference means that if one U-joint rests in the vertical position (90 from Horiz) the other should as well? Any special procedures or tools for measuring the phase?
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homerj

A new driveshaft will have perfect phasing (no angular difference) between the ujoints and the ujoints will feel somewhat stiff. They will not flop around or have any play in them.


Thanks for the info.

I just want to make sure I understand this term. Phase difference means that if one U-joint rests in the vertical position (90 from Horiz) the other should as well? Any special procedures or tools for measuring the phase?
Yes to your question. Phase is the angle (degrees, radians, whatever) between two ujoints on the ends of a driveshaft.



Why do we worry about phase? Ujoints are not a perfect way to bend motion. The ujoint will accelerate and then decelerate on each rotation. This causes a vibration to occur down the legth of the shaft. The cool thing is you can put a ujoint on the other end of the shaft and the vibration it causes will cancel out the first ujoint's vibration. All you need is both ujoints in phase and at the opposite angle.



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hogmolly screwed with this post 03-07-2006 at 10:21 AM
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
chiefrider
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I swapped my driveshaft out two weekends ago. It had almost 60K kilometers, or almost 36K miles on it. I bought a good (non-thrashed) shaft for $60 and had Mitch in Wisconsin rebuild it for $140.

I did it this way so I wouldn't have my bike apart for weeks waiting for the shaft to return. I wanted to swap it out because I am planning a ride to Alaska next summer, and wanted no problems.

The shaft I took out seems in perfect order. I am a big boy (about 250 lbs.) do my paralever sits more horizontal than if a 150 lb. person would be on it. I mostly tour with an occasional jaunt down a gravel or logging road thrown in.

My new shaft has grease zerks. I plan on removing it to grease every winter. I did a spline lube at the gearcase and transmission at the same time.

I am not a super-wrench. Read up on Snowbum's tech articles and have a manual (I have a Haynes) as well. Make lists of tools and supplies to have on hand before you start. Read enough so you can visualize the job chore-by-chore without having to consult the materials. Consult your materials and notes often when you perform the job. Next winter the job will likely take me half the time.
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Old 03-06-2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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Could you post contact info for Mitch. Thanks.

Grease fitings sounds like a good idea.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:01 AM   #11
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Rebuilders I know of

Here are three sources for shaft rebuilding. I contacted Erich in Germany, and he seems like a nice fellow with some great ideas, but the dollar is being mauled by the euro, and it'll cost more than double for him to do the work. Also, there is the hoops to jump with customs and such.

Bruno is also well-recomended, but again, his prices are higher, and again the customs stuff.

Rather than emailing, it's best to call Machine Service in Wisconsin and just ask for Mitch. He'll take the time to talk to you.

Mitch at: Machine Service, Inc., 1000 Ashwaubenon Street, Green Bay, WI54304, 800-677-8711, 920-339-3000 sales@machineservice.com

Bruno's Machine & Repair, HWY 554 # 47, RR1 Iron Bridge, Ontario, P0R1H0 Canada 705 843 0822 brunos@brunos.us

Erich Demant, in Germany, erdemant@aol.com

Tom
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:14 PM   #12
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Thanks for the description of the out of phase driveshaft. I just tore my drive down a few days ago because of some vibration and a clunking sound whenever the bike was rolled backward. It currently has 37Kmiles on it. I expected the driveshaft to fall apart in my hands when I removed it, but it seemed surprisingly pretty tight when I twisted it. Once I looked at the phase of the u-joints, thanks to the diagram, I could see that there was about 10 degrees difference.

Has anybody had any experience with Boxer Works out of Georgia? I understand that they also rebuild driveshafts with greasezerks. I e-mailed Bruno's yesterday but have not received any response yet.

Thanks for the help.
Dave
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Old 03-11-2006, 05:56 AM   #13
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From the Boxerworks phorum;
"I have not experienced the driveshaft problems that seem to plague these bike[s] because the former owner (BMW tech) machined a great little needle device for greasing the "sealed" bearings without disturbing the seals."

From the bmw-gs mail list regarding driveshaft failures;
"Actually, it is not the "X" portion of the u-joint that wears out. It is the needle bearings. The old ones are swedged in (little stomp marks). When you put the new ones in, to get them to stay, you select a washer that has the same O.D. as the bearing and set it on top of the bearing (four required). Then you tack weld the washers in three or four spots."

The author of the second quote is refering to a R80G/S, but there may be some merit to this idea for the GS.

I'm not sure what the first author is refering to, but there are miniture grease fittings (and coresponding grease guns) and there is also a type of grease gun that resembles a large hypodermic needle. Perhaps some small holes can be made, tapped and pluged with small machine screws that would allow for greasing of the O.E.M. u-joints.

At any rate, I recently aquired two '88 to '90 Europian R100GS's for parts and plan to do some playing around with their shafts. One is bad(roughness and phased stiffness can be felt while rotating the rear wheel) and the other appears to be good.
Although others have tried to repair/rebuild bad shafts before, I'm not sure anyone has tried to make a good one last longer.
I'm is a good position to experiment here. I manage a well equiped shop and have a great relationship with the local machinists. Here in Latin America, these guys have no hangups about trying anything and they can accomplish miracles with just an old Bridgeport and a lathe. And they work cheap. Also, real small vans and trucks are common and may be a source for u-joints. ADVman's comment about out of phase couplers is well taken and I might have to start from scratch.
If there are any positive results, I'll start a new thread.
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:30 AM   #14
TEXASYETI
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Just got my "Brunoized" shaft back

Took longer then I hoped - and cost about 320.00 U.S. - to get the modifications made but the shaft looks great and I will have it installed next week. If I had a digital camera I would post picks but you can see them at Bruno's website.

The front u-joint is regreasable with the shaft in the bike, the rear requires the removal of the final drive, remove a small plug, install the grease nipple and pump away.

At first I thought the effort required to greae the rear joint would be a hassle but, considering the undersized nature of the bearings that support the rear pivot, a little TLC for them every 10 - 15K would not hurt.
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:16 PM   #15
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Am I correct in thinking there is a rubber "dampner" in the driveshaft? If so, are these different rebuilders replacing the rubber portion to correct the out of phase problem?
Thanks, Dennis
93gspd
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