Driveshaft/transmission clunks - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2020, 4:55 am Thread Starter
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Driveshaft/transmission clunks

Hi folks, I have a developing issue that I’d like your thoughts on. Yesterday riding the bike all was well, but moving the bike (riding it) while still at operating temps when I got home generated a substantial clunk in the driveshaft/transmission area when I let the clutch out while in first. Today with driveshaft UJ’s and all fluids cold I could not generate the sound as I had yesterday - when all was at operating temperature. However, with the bike on the centre stand and in first, if I feathered the rear brake and released the clutch I could replicate the sound.
So my better half was called to the cause and using a stethoscope (large screwdriver) identified the area closest to the front universal joint as being the culprit. While the sound could be detected in the transmission, she is adamant it is louder closer to the front UJ.
I’ve owned my 1200RS from new and the old girl has 183,000kms on her. Transmission has never been opened, the clutch is original and - last time I looked - in good condition and well within specs. I was given a driveshaft (70,000kms) some years ago and decided to fit this prior to shipping the bike back to Australia after 15 years in New Zealand. Shipping and storage amounted to 7 or 8 months with the bike hardly being ridden. Some extended two up touring was done with the replacement driveshaft prior to shipping and I’ve done 1500kms since bank in Australia without issues.
My first thoughts are to put the original driveshaft back in the bike and see if this is a fix as it’s a relatively easy task using Pierre’s method, but thought I’d first raise this on the forum to get others thoughts on this. Another though just to mind, is that I’ve been aware of ever so slight vibration through the bike at highway speeds. Just enough to make the instruments seem not so easy to read. I figured maybe the front tire, or at worst, a crown wheel bearing on the demise, but now I’ll add the driveshaft UJ as a possible cause.
Thanks as always for advice and thoughts.

2002 K1200RS Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 183,000kmís
2016 K1300R Black, 6000kmís
The family history
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads

Last edited by flyingkiwi; Jan 18th, 2020 at 5:49 am. Reason: Additional information
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2020, 11:44 am
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ASAP......!They can degrade really fast and break once some wear has set it and grease melts away from the friction.And not good for transmission output bearings.

Any rebuilders down there that could install Elbe106 greasable U-joints in yours?A few pumps of Amsoil Synthetic grease every year/30Ks,will last forever.

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2020, 3:38 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for chiming in Pierre. When I realised that the very slight vibration at higher cruising speeds was probably connected it became a no brainer to go in and change the driveshaft. Itís a very wet day here so ideal to spend a day on the bike. Rain is falling across much of eastern Australia which is wonderful for our on going drought and of course the appalling bushfires. Thanks for the heads up on the grease nipples too.

2002 K1200RS Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 183,000kmís
2016 K1300R Black, 6000kmís
The family history
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2020, 11:11 pm
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If you were any closer I'd hand you a less than 10K driveshaft for testing purposes.And send you some snow? Holy crap....we are getting buried,no time to wrench but the old K is long ready for the upcoming season and less than $200.00 CAD after last 28K season,lucky me.....!

For testing only?....only spare complete DS I have left,sold the other one to someone in need on IBMW.In need to replace his failed low milleage one and after he bought 1-2(?) on fleabay that weren't any good.

If I remember the rear piece/knuckle is the same as a R1200CL(?)so matched the good front piece I sold him?

I like my spares......finally got around to use them steering dampener seals.Just starting to seep at 293,000kms so yep time to rebuild that.Easy..peasy even without instructions but I did look at some online pictures first.Thanks for the seals....must have been in the box for 7-8yrs now?
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Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2020, 5:02 am Thread Starter
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Changed out the secondhand driveshaft for the original on Sunday and went for a good 3 hour ride today. Perfect, clunk has gone and slight vibration has vanished. Also took the time to check and re grease the swing arm bearings. The right hand bearing is prone to moisture ingress, however I had filled the two drift holes with black silicone many years ago after discovering water passes through the holes right into the bearing race. Shitty design from BMW but this time the bearing was perfect. Removed and greased the clutch slave, and pulled the push rod to check the felt. Nice and dry. Also repackaged the final drive pivot bearings. BMW suggest 9Nm torque for these but I have found torquing to 12Nm and releasing a couple of times (to push out excess grease) and a final torque of 10Nm works really well, I think as per Pierre suggestion? Anyway, I checked the drive shaft that was causing the problem when I pulled it out and found the UJís to be fine, possibly better than the original so I checked the splines for movement and found a very slight amount of play. I very light click/clack as I twisted it back and forth. I checked this against my original driveshaft and found no play so I was quietly confident this was the cause of my problem. Glad the steering dampener (aka a wobble stopper, not really a dampener) seals have finally come into play. I changed mine out before I sent you those and itís still perfect.
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2002 K1200RS Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 183,000kmís
2016 K1300R Black, 6000kmís
The family history
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2020, 11:02 am
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Spline wear? Interesting.I have never seen that on a K but some of the later GSs have been found with corrosion at the transmission/DS splines.

Torque on the pivots? I put the previous paint marks right back where they were last year/no torque wrench.28K later I did use the torque wrench after my yearly check up.Paint marks lined up once again at 7nM.Bearings have 225,000kms on them,no marks.....no play and none expected anytime soon!

Swingarm bearings were packed full of Amsoil synthetic a couple years ago.I pumped a little in via the holes with the grease injector tip this year and some immediatly came out the other hole.Still full....!Screwed the plugs back in and done.

Do not run them bikes in gear on the centerstand.That's too close and maybe over max angle of operation of U-joints.16Degrees!Even with a new phased DS I could feel a slight binding if engine revs were brought up to ~3000rpms.

Binding....jumping rear end? That's my Honda with the bad sprockets/worn chains.Almost jumps off the stand.....!Off to the online Canadian retailer for Honda tires chain sprockets + a fresh pair of Dunlop Roadsmarts for the K.Dammik.....lots of miles left on my rear but I picked up a self tapping screw and it worked its way sideways between the plies and cut through the steel cords.No flat but off the bike and to the scrap pile it goes.+20yrs without a flat and now 3 in the last couple years.

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 4:53 am Thread Starter
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Yep the spline movement was between the two halves of the drive shaft. Can’t really comment on this as I’ve not read anything about it before, but it was certainly present. However I have no history on this drive shaft and there is a possibility that the two halves may have come together from different sources prior to coming into my possession.
I too have always marked my pivot bearings with paint so I can keep an eye on them should they quietly come loose, as they did once many years ago. I refuse to use locktite anywhere other than internal engine requirements. When I re torqued them on the weekend they were close to where they were, but not exact. I believe torque wrenches are about as accurate as tire pressure gauges, so may look into getting mine calibrated, or failing that, buying wrenches that can be calibrated.
I am well aware about the risks of running the engine in gear on the centre stand. I did this test using no more than 1000rpm but felt it justified to complete the tests which resulted in a positive outcome.

2002 K1200RS Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 183,000kmís
2016 K1300R Black, 6000kmís
The family history
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 9:51 am
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https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...ch/A-p8730277e

New tool.....for what I use them I have way too many torque wrenches.....!But for my SnapOn 1/2" click I mistrust the others of the click type.

Backing off the spring pressure for storage and the internal pickle fork can disengage from the bar.Next time around there won't be a click.....!

So now I set them.....lock in the vise and make sure they click before I use them!

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2020, 6:57 pm
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Glad you found the offending part that was causing the clunk. I have not had good experiences with used parts either... remember that mint condition final drive that failed on me down south? Now it is properly rebuilt and sitting on the shelf with a good many other bits in case I need them. I use grease in the holes of the pivots as per Pierre. My bearings have never shifted in 107,000 kms as I mark with paint to be sure too.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2020, 1:09 pm
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Even "free" parts are iffy! Got a free low milleage but failed final drive on I-BMW a few years ago.Everybody was saying failed big bearing so a potentially easy repair by me...not so the small bearing had spun on the shaft.And free with very apparently very good pivot bearings?Once I cleaned the mucky Moly grease I saw right away that the pivots were shot.

Free+$30.00 shipping to my US mail box.Questioned by the Canadian custom agent as to why such an expensive looking part was free and claimed as such to avoid taxes? I told him that by the time I'd refit that I'd have spent way more money than it was worth.So he let me go tax free.....!

In the meantime and because my OEM drive had failed in the same fashion/small bearing loose on the shaft at ~125ks I am still riding on the cheap 98 drive I bought on fleabag so many years ago.I verified the shimming many years ago.~180,000 kms on it now and I for some reason do not expect an imminent failure! Mind you....spare bearing/puller/seal,all kind of follows me on the road!

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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