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post #1 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 1:43 pm Thread Starter
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Rear Drive Question

I've been looking on the forum for info on changing the lube in the rear drive. I have a 2004 LT with 40K miles that I bought used 18 months ago. I have had it serviced at Big Twin BMW in Boise (Good guys in my opinion) so they have done the lube changes etc. But, it seems like the gear whine is getting louder and I wanted to check, maybe change, the rear drive lube. After reading how difficult it was and descriptions of how to do it I realized that the description of where the drain hole should be on an '04 didn't match what is on my bike. The one on my bike has a drain plug at 6 and a filler plug at 9. Did I maybe buy a bike that had the rear drive replaced with a much newer one? I'd put in a photo if I could figure out how.
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post #2 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 1:51 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

6 and 9 is normal. Check the fluid when it is out ,lots of shiny is not good. Sludge is fine. Go with some type of synthetic from Autozone. It probably is your tires not your drive that is whining though. 42 and 48 psi front and back. What tires do you have on the bike? How many miles on them? Metz tires howl after a few thousand miles, especially going around corners.

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post #3 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 2:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Thanks for the quick feedback. The tires are Metzler and I've been using the pressures you mention. The whine is definitely gear whine that changes at cruise, under acceleration, etc. I also get a "whistle" at about 45 mph that I think is related to the front cowling and things inside. Even though I live in Washington state this bike was bought new in your part of the country. Somehow it made its way to Tacoma where I bought it. I think the original owner was in the military. So, I should be able to remove the filler plug and dip a sample of oil from the rear drive just to check it? Is that a good idea?
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post #4 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 2:12 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

What Sheldon said. It's not difficult at all either. When you change it, one old military trick is to put some of the used oil on a piece of glass, then shine a light up through the oil. Shiny sparkles tend to reveal themselves quickly.
When filling the final drive, I used a squirt oil can. Stick the nozzle in, and squirt away. No mess. And don't overfill it. Makes a mess down the road.
I do agree that you're probably listening to the rear tire. Check it for cupping. Even just a little speaks clearly to you.
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post #5 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 2:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Thank you Gentlemen! I will have a shot at it.
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post #6 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 3:34 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
[...]
When you change it, one old military trick is to put some of the used oil on a piece of glass, then shine a light up through the oil. Shiny sparkles tend to reveal themselves quickly.
[...]
In addition to the glass trick, check the goo on the drain plug's magnet. Again, sludge is ok, shiny bits, well, not so much.

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post #7 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 3:51 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Remove the goo with a washout in gasoline, dry blow & used duct tape to clean the magnet of any remaining fuzz.

If you want, drain the oil into a clean seamless flat bottom aluminum can. Let settle for a few hours, pour off the top, then thin the bottom bit w gasoline. Move a magnet around the outside bottom of the can while under a strong light. There will be some iron you can be sure but you will be able to really see anything significant.
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post #8 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 4:11 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
Remove the goo with a washout in gasoline, dry blow & used duct tape to clean the magnet of any remaining fuzz.

If you want, drain the oil into a clean seamless flat bottom aluminum can. Let settle for a few hours, pour off the top, then thin the bottom bit w gasoline. Move a magnet around the outside bottom of the can while under a strong light. There will be some iron you can be sure but you will be able to really see anything significant.
Over the years, a coupla folks had a little trouble removing the 'fill plug' AFTER removing the drain plug. The bike wuz then unusable until the 'fill plug' issue wuz resolved and fresh fluid wuz installed. So, the suggestion wuz made to remove the 'fill plug' before removing the drain plug, to assure the process went forward without a hitch. HTH.
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post #9 of 12 Old Feb 18th, 2012, 10:10 pm
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Over the years, a coupla folks had a little trouble removing the 'fill plug' AFTER removing the drain plug. The bike wuz then unusable until the 'fill plug' issue wuz resolved and fresh fluid wuz installed. So, the suggestion wuz made to remove the 'fill plug' before removing the drain plug, to assure the process went forward without a hitch. HTH.
+1

I always loosen the fill plug first to "vent" during draining.

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post #10 of 12 Old Feb 19th, 2012, 8:01 am
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Re: Rear Drive Question

I have a question on the "venting" issue mentioned -- meaning you can't unscrew the "filler" plug due to pressure. I am curious to know why there would be any significant pressure when there is a vent at the top of the FD housing area (I am assuming that the black cap at the top of the FD is a vent).

Glenn
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post #11 of 12 Old Feb 19th, 2012, 8:27 am
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Re: Rear Drive Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by southern_nj
I have a question on the "venting" issue mentioned -- meaning you can't unscrew the "filler" plug due to pressure. I am curious to know why there would be any significant pressure when there is a vent at the top of the FD housing area (I am assuming that the black cap at the top of the FD is a vent).

Glenn
The vent can become clogged with road grime over time. Not very common but it has happened.

Also Plus 2 on removing the "FILLER plug first. Been there done that.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #12 of 12 Old Feb 19th, 2012, 11:14 am
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Re: Rear Drive Question

When I first got my LT, I was worried all the time about all the strange noises I was hearing. After awhile, I decided to just accept this was a noisy bike and ride it. Now, I just don't hear those worry some noises! I don't worry, I just enjoy the ride and it just keeps going. I've done all the pre-emptive and pro-active maintenance I can think of and I trust it's good to go. Makes my days so much better...and it's not like it's ignoring problems. It's more like accepting that this bike makes peculiar noises, even when alls well.

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