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Thread: Spline Lube

  1. #1
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    Spline Lube

    I posed this question on a K1100 Owners page and got mixed feedback so I thought I would bring it here. I have a '93K1100LT approaching it's 48,000 mile service. I am plan on having the spline lubed but am hearing some folks say this is not necessary. Any comments on the subect would be appreciated.

    Quick history of the bike: bought it about two years ago with just over 12,000. Has been dealer maintained, receiving the recommended major service every 12,000 mile interval. I do not know if the bike has had a spline lube before.

  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
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    Personally, I'm fond of overservicing......and my checking acct reflects it. If you plan on keeping the bike tho, then of course its money well spent.

    Does it need a spline lube? Probably not until downshifting becomes difficult. That seems to be the telltale.

    My only recommendation if you decide to do this work, or have it done by someone else, is to make sure you do as much work as possible while the bike is apart.....ie, clean the starter out, check the alternator rubbers, replace the swingarm and Paralever bearings, etc. The small amount of extra money spent now will save you lots of time and extra money later.
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input Jon. I am not having any trouble downshifting, so I don't know if this service is really necessary. However, I am a bit paranoid of ignoring this service based on other accounts I have read about major problems resulting from neglecting this. I'm planning a 6000 mile roundtrip from VA out west this summer and would like to avoid any mechanical problems if possible. I guess sometimes that extra $ spent is worth the peace of mind even.

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KAW
    I guess sometimes that extra $ spent is worth the peace of mind even.
    It'll be one less thing to destroy your happy thoughts while you're tooling across the plains.



    dave
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    I, too, am inclinded to err towards caution, and have been known to over-service my motorcycle.

    The way I figure it, by the time I weigh the cost of a tow-in, parts, labor, and other matters resulting from a breakdown, I am dollars ahead to have the service done, particularly if I can squeeze it in with other items and save $$ in the larger scheme of things.

    FWIW, I once bought a new K75, and was told, "Don't worry about it until it is hard to shift." Well, I decided to have the splines checked at the 18 k service. They were nearly dry, and undamaged. But another 6k might have been the difference that put the shafts "over the edge."

    Thinking a bit about your comments, if you have not had the splines done since purchase, this might be the right time to lay it to rest -- then you know for sure what the status is on them.

    My $0.02

  6. #6
    Registered User 96073's Avatar
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    any input on the procedure...

    could anyone share their experience of lubing the splines? that is something that may be looming over the next year of riding and want to be prepared to do the deed.

    repoe3

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Re: any input on the procedure...

    Originally posted by repoe3
    could anyone share their experience of lubing the splines? that is something that may be looming over the next year of riding and want to be prepared to do the deed.

    repoe3
    YOu'll need a garage and a decent tool set, but not much of it is actually difficult. I used a trans jack to pull the tranny out, which made it much easier. I also recommend that you use the Honda Moly60 stuff. It seems to last forever.

    I think there's a decent "How To" over at the IBMWR's tech articles.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    I have not done this, but I observed a trick done by a capable wrench. This is a very, very abbreviated description.

    1. Obtain some long allen head bolts of the diameter and thread count of the bolts that hold the transmission onto the engine.

    Note: the goal here is to gain access to the splines without having to completely remove the rear half of the bike.

    Next, you want to be able to give yourself an inch to an inch & a half to work in. If your bolts are too long, and the rear end drops off the shaft, you have defeated your purpose.

    Also, it is absolutely critical that the diameter and thread count is right. Don't force something that does not fit, or the splines become the least of your worries.

    2. Obtain a stubby, medium bristle brush with a long, skinny handle.

    3. Jack up the bike.

    4. Unbolt and remove the various components necessary to split the bike. When you get to the bolts holding the tranny on, as you remove them, replace them with one of the long bolts. Just hand tighten the long bolts into place.

    5. Slide the transmission back far enough to get into the opening with the long, skinny brush.

    6. Insert said skinny brush into opening, and dab that Honda moly lube on the splines, being careful not to sling and fling the excess.

    7. Reassemble and torqe to specs.

    Voi'la! Splines lubed in less than an hour!
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  9. #9
    Registered User DasBoot's Avatar
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    Kaw,


    I would lube the shaft when you have your next rear wheel replacement. These are the splines that are present after removing the wheel and the drive shaft hub. The input shaft splines are behind the transmission and cost a lot more to have done and I would reccomend it to be done my a worthwhile mechanic. The 95 and on models have a nikisil coating on them from the factory, similiar to their engine coating process, that greatly decreases the wear on the parts.

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    A few comments on this technique:

    1. It does not remove the old grease - and this is contaminated and possibly not-compatible with the replacement grease. I want new uncontaminated grease on the splines - especially if BMW#10 was ever used on the bike.

    2. You can't inspect the splines this way - you have to clean them up to inspect them, and I have to get very close (and usually feel for a step in the spline) to determine the wear.

    3. You can damage the clutch assembly (DAMHIK) if things get misaligned doing it this way. Cost in parts to fix 3 years ago was about $400.

    Just a warning or two - I consider this a not good shortcut. It is how some dealers can offer the off-season spline lube service so cheaply, but I consider it less than an optimal job.

    It also doesn't save a lot of time. Most of what has to be removed to do a real spline lube has to be removed to do this half job. My record right now on a complete spline lube is about 90 minutes start to finish, but I was in practice at the time.

    Take your time - do it right, consider it bonding with the bike.

    Don

    Originally posted by RickM
    I have not done this, but I observed a trick done by a capable wrench. This is a very, very abbreviated description.

    1. Obtain some long allen head bolts of the diameter and thread count of the bolts that hold the transmission onto the engine.

    Note: the goal here is to gain access to the splines without having to completely remove the rear half of the bike.

    Next, you want to be able to give yourself an inch to an inch & a half to work in. If your bolts are too long, and the rear end drops off the shaft, you have defeated your purpose.

    Also, it is absolutely critical that the diameter and thread count is right. Don't force something that does not fit, or the splines become the least of your worries.

    2. Obtain a stubby, medium bristle brush with a long, skinny handle.

    3. Jack up the bike.

    4. Unbolt and remove the various components necessary to split the bike. When you get to the bolts holding the tranny on, as you remove them, replace them with one of the long bolts. Just hand tighten the long bolts into place.

    5. Slide the transmission back far enough to get into the opening with the long, skinny brush.

    6. Insert said skinny brush into opening, and dab that Honda moly lube on the splines, being careful not to sling and fling the excess.

    7. Reassemble and torqe to specs.

    Voi'la! Splines lubed in less than an hour!
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  11. #11
    K75LT
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    i have seen it go both ways - spline lube @ ~ 50k

    splines dry gummy and dirty
    splines still greasy and fine

    similar riders similar bikes - who knows?

    err on the side of caution and do it

    go for the full deal and take it apart, clean the spline and hole with a toothbrush and carb cleaner! if you do it do it right.

    i know riding season is here - i would put it off till the winter (depending on planned milage) good winter project when cabin fever sets in

  12. #12
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    The bike is in the shop as we speak receiving a 48k service and spline lube. I agree that it's better to go ahead and have something done rather than assume everything's alright. Especially with a week long trip coming up at the end of the month.

    Your comments on being bikeless during the riding season - can't stand the thought which is why I own more than one. As a result, I drive a car that leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm not complaining.

  13. #13
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    LUBE IT

    No one has mentioned how much this cost to have the dealer do it..
    I read somewhere to add it to my Maint Sched to do at 20,000 mile intervals.
    Don't know how much a dealer would charge at this point though.

  14. #14
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    I just got my bike back over the weekend and the invoice shows $420 for lubing the clutch spline. I was feeling this was fairly steep, especially after reading postings here about people being able to perform this service in under two hours. However, I just read in the latest BMW ON that "Dancin' Dave" paid $750 for the same service, so now I don't feel so bad.
    A few months ago when I called around to other dealers in my area to compare prices, the other two were around $500.

    To those of you who are able to perform this same service in significantly less time, please pass on your technique to BMW mechanics or open your own shop to save the rest of us some cash!

  15. #15
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    There are several well-detailed articles on how to do it posted in the tech pages of the IBMWR site.

    I did it four times in the nine years I had my K75S. The first time took all day. Each subsequent time was shorter, down to about four hours. I think Don E. did it faster, and holds the record.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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