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Old 07-30-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
Barnstorm OP
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Question R100RT and R100RS, To Spline Lube or Not?

I have recently purchased two R100's a 1979 R100RS with 50k-ish miles and a 1993 R100RT with 30ish K miles.

I read that you should lube the tranny splines on these old airheads to avoid issues.

After calling the local shop, the quoted me 4 hours labor for each bike ($330.00).

So... how good of an idea is a pro-active spline lube?

Right now I don't have the tools, space and time to pull apart 2 bikes and that is a good heap of cash that I don't want to part with unless there is a reasonable reason to suspect it will protect me from a failure.

Opinions and ideas please!

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Old 07-30-2013, 09:57 AM   #2
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I wouldn't pay to take them apart.
They may be greased and okay anyway.

I wouldn't even worry about it.

Maybe when time allows do them yourself one at a time though.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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I should have mentioned that I plan on putting a side car on the RT, so in the future it might be more difficult to work on.

(or perhaps not, I have not reviewed what it takes to get at the splines...)
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
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Welcome to the site.

From one (ex) pilot to another: think of the clutch splines on an airhead as being like the vacuum pump on a Centurion P.

JMO, but I wouldn't ride a newly acquired airhead any distance until the splines were properly serviced by an airhead specialist, unless I had records showing a recent service.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Your bikes don't have many miles, but on the other hand the lube may be pretty dry and hard by this time. A simple rule of thumb is that if the bike shifts in and out of gear OK and the clutch seems good, chances are the splines are OK. That said, preventative maintenance is always a good idea.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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Airhead forum next time. Please read the rules before posting. Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
disston
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Airheads are mostly user friendly if you do your own maintenance. If you have an Airhead friendly shop or dealer near by you may skip the more arduous items. One of those is certainly a spline lube. To do this the transmission is removed and half the rear of the bike with it.

An Airhead in need of a spline lube may exhibit several symptoms. Difficulty in shifting, hard to spot if you don't have the experience because a properly shifting Airhead can be difficult to shift. Especially difficult on down shifts. Sometimes little squeaky noises when shifting.

A side car should actually not interfere with the removal of the trans and the performing a spline lube. I don't own a side car so I don't really have the experience but the trans comes out the left. The car may be in the way when removing the drive shaft bolts? But I think you can work around this. Certainly the side car can be removed if needed. They usually come off pretty easy don't they?

I'd say you can skip the spline lube for now.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnstorm View Post
I have recently purchased two R100's a 1979 R100RS with 50k-ish miles and a 1993 R100RT with 30ish K miles.

I read that you should lube the tranny splines on these old airheads to avoid issues.

After calling the local shop, the quoted me 4 hours labor for each bike ($330.00).

So... how good of an idea is a pro-active spline lube?

Right now I don't have the tools, space and time to pull apart 2 bikes and that is a good heap of cash that I don't want to part with unless there is a reasonable reason to suspect it will protect me from a failure.

Opinions and ideas please!

.
Price out new clutches and transmission input shafts.

Some people don't lube them until the shifting gets troublesome. By then the lube is gone and you have metal galling happening, which is why the shifting is troublesome.

Some people also believe you have to remove the transmission and go through this whole big deal. You actually don't. Your local shop, lacking an experienced airhead mechanic, may be of this opinion, and quoted you a full on transmission R&R just to lube the splines.

Some people, like me, lube them yearly. It takes me an hour and a half, working slow. A professional airhead mechanic, maybe 45 min. You get to inspect for leakage at the rear seal and oil pump cover while you are doing it, and the swing arm gets lubed. The tools in the on-board toolkit will do. You also need a torque wrench, some Honda Moly60 or similar for the lube, a cone/needle tip for your grease gun, or a push greaser loaded with water resistant moly grease for the swingarm, an old but stiff toothbrush or three and a Penlight/Streamlight Reach or similar. Figure 4-6 hours your first time, mostly because you're looking around at other stuff.

You don't take it apart much, basically you stretch it by removing the subframe bolts and swing arm pivot bolts (after removing mufflers, air cleaner and seat), then unbolt the tranny and pull it back an inch or so. You use tooth brushes to do the clean and lube through the crack, then put it all back. You have to torque the swing arm pivots correctly.

Looks like this:



Notice that the upper transmission mounting bolt isn't even clear of it's hole. But I have plenty of room to get a brush in there to clean and lube.

Of great importance on the '79 is lubing the rear wheel drive splines. Very simple. Take off rear wheel, lube splines, put wheel back on.

Plaka screwed with this post 07-30-2013 at 08:18 PM
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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Lubing airhead splines is a airhead urban myth. If your bike's clutch is engaging smoothly there is no need to lube the splines. Lubing the splines won't save your clutch or splines. Don't worry about your splines being dry if your clutch is working properly. If you plan on lubing your splines enough to keep the splines wet with lube, plan on lubing them every 3000 miles because any lube goes dry very quickly.

I have almost a quarter million airhead miles. I never lube my own clutches unless I am there for some other reason. I have had two clutches last over 100,000 miles and both are still going. I have worked on a lot of airheads that never had their splines lubed and they were fine. I have seen just as many regularly lubed splines go bad as not. Maybe more. My advise is to do something to your bike that matters. That is unless the clutch is grabbing. Then they need to be lubed. That usually only happens to bikes that have been setting for a good while at some point. Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnstorm View Post
I have recently purchased two R100's a 1979 R100RS with 50k-ish miles and a 1993 R100RT with 30ish K miles.

After calling the local shop, the quoted me 4 hours labor for each bike ($330.00).

Opinions and ideas please!

.
I lube my splines and it sure doesnt take 4 hours to do it. Get involved with an Airheads group and someone may help you do it to one of the bikes.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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Hey Plaka, how do you know the light goes off when you slide the tranny back into position?
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:48 AM   #12
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It is possible to pull the transmission back a little and stick a stick inside the gap between the transmission and the engine and swab some grease on the splines. Doing it this way it is not possible to clean or inspect the splines before applying the grease. It is a short cut. Like most short cuts it has it's disadvantages. "The Shop" is probably not going to charge for the job by figuring the short cut into their bill.

The shop you have talked to is charging the "Flat Rate". Figures come out of a manual. It is called the Flat Rate Manual. They are not in the business to prove to you or anybody else how fast they can do this job or any other job listed in the Flat Rate Manual. They are in the business to make money. You may find a shop that does the job using short cuts or charges you by the time they actually work on the bike but they also may be slower than the shop that knows what they are doing.

This job may be done by mechanics not Airhead experienced, probably not a problem but as a general rule we have found that you need mechanics that are familiar with Airheads to work on your bike, if you don't do it yourself.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:04 AM   #13
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Lubing airhead splines is a airhead urban myth.
And NOT lubing input shaft splines is an SS urban myth.

The factory says:

"Lightly coat the inside toothing of the clutch hub with 'Molykote Longterm 2' lubricant."

and I am unaware of Service Bulletins that say "don't bother".

The thing about a molybdenum disulphide lubricant is that it is a dry lubricant. The grease is just a vehicle to get the Moly onto the part. The MoS2 is a dry lube and adheres to the surface of the part acting like a million atomic ball bearings without needing to be greasy.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ME 109 View Post
Hey Plaka, how do you know the light goes off when you slide the tranny back into position?
Yahudi turns it off, just like in a 'fridge...

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Old 07-31-2013, 03:39 AM   #15
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personally, I lube my splines, having had to replace a failed input shaft before!!!!!
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