U-joint grease


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Duq_
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:52 am
Location: Ireland
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1984 GL1200 (naked)
NSS-250 Forza

U-joint grease

Postby Duq_ » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:41 am



Hi all,

I've bought a GL1000 last year. It wasn't running well so I started looking into it and I just keep taking more bits off...
Yesterday I took the rear apart and found that there's no grease whatsoever on the universal joint. When I move the joint it doesn't feel smooth. I've had a u-joint break on me on a previous bike so I'm a bit worried...
I've done some searching around the forum and there's many posts about greasing the splines, but nothing about the u-joint itself. One post mentioned that the bearings are sealed which suggests they wouldn't need grease on the outside.
So the question is: should I grease the u-joint? (and given the state it's in, should I replace it?)
Thanks,
Ronald
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tfdeputydawg
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Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

Re: U-joint grease

Postby tfdeputydawg » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:53 am

IMHO
If there is no grease jerk present then, you are correct these are sealed units.
One never knows if it is the OEM part or has been replaced already!
If the "movement" is not smooth-replace :D

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pshaginaw
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:53 pm
Location: Waynesville, NC
Motorcycle: 1978 Honda GL1000
1987 Yamaha Virago XV535T
1975 Honda CB360T
1999 Honda Valkryrie
2005 Suzuki Boulevard S40

Re: U-joint grease

Postby pshaginaw » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:50 am

From the looks of the U-joint, it seems the boot seal may have leakes and excessive moisture has caused the rusting. Yes, the yellow- painted joint bearings are sealed and are not designed to be re-greased. For safety sake, I would replace this unit.

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portugeezer
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Location: Mchenry, Illinois
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Re: U-joint grease

Postby portugeezer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:43 am

You could try soaking it in used motor oil for a few days. See if that makes it work right. Otherwise these are available on Ebay.

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WingAdmin
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Re: U-joint grease

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:49 am

They are sealed, and considered "non-rebuildable". If it is at the point where it is binding enough that you can feel it when manipulating it, it is well on its way to failure, and no application of grease or oil will save it. I would start looking at eBay or a bike breaker for a replacement. A broken U-joint in our bikes can do a tremendous amount of damage.

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portugeezer
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Re: U-joint grease

Postby portugeezer » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:06 pm

Go with ^ that then! I'm a total cheapskate and it has backfired on me more than once!

Old Fogey
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Location: Glasgow Scotland
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1979 GL1000
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Re: U-joint grease

Postby Old Fogey » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:58 pm

WingAdmin wrote:They are sealed, and considered "non-rebuildable". If it is at the point where it is binding enough that you can feel it when manipulating it, it is well on its way to failure, and no application of grease or oil will save it. I would start looking at eBay or a bike breaker for a replacement. A broken U-joint in our bikes can do a tremendous amount of damage.


Good advice. When searching for a 'new' shaft (NOS shafts are the proverbial hen's teeth) try to get one from 78 - 79. The yokes holding the U/J were made much stronger on them.

Rebuilding of them is a project we are working on. i have identified the part number of the joint we need; even bought a sample but was not pleased enough with the quality of it. Too many projects at this time means it is on the back burner for now, but is something I will get back to during the winter.
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'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

garveypeadar
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:09 am
Location: Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Motorcycle: GL1000 1977 K2

Re: U-joint grease

Postby garveypeadar » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:40 am

Gents my name is Peter Garvey from Ireland. I've not posted here before although I joined the group some time ago. I work as an Engineer in a power plant having served my time as a fitter turner back then.

I have replaced the joint on my GL1000 77. Its a GBM unit, with grease nipple and was quite a task. You have to machine out the swaged tabs on each cup, strip the joint, machine internal circlip grooves, ensure the grooves are central and reassemble. Jigs and mandrels are required to execute the task, you need a lathe, deburring tools etc. You need to be able to measure accurately and not a DIY task only for the skilled with the ability to operate lathes and work to .02 mm

Peter

I have pics

Duq_
Posts: 11
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Location: Ireland
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1984 GL1200 (naked)
NSS-250 Forza

Re: U-joint grease

Postby Duq_ » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:52 am

Hey Peter, nice to see another GL1000 owner in Dublin! Not many of us left these days...
I wouldn't have access to any of the tools needed for machining parts. I got a used U-joint from Bikers Best in Holland in the end which has been working fine sofar. Unfortunately the bike has needed many other parts replacing since...

Old Fogey
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Re: U-joint grease

Postby Old Fogey » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:39 am

Peter,
Those pictures would be good.
I agree, this is not a job for unskilled hands. I had been looking for a simpler way than having to machine circlip grooves and may have found it. To do that machining, we would have to farm that out as, although I have the skill to use one, I don't have a lathe; for us to offer rebuilds that way I doubt would economically viable.
The other problem with these shafts is that for half the production of the 1000 the shaft yokes were too weak anyway, and so not really suitable to rebuild. That means a shortage of the raw material in the form of the later shaft. The same joint is used in the 1100 which has a good strong yokes.
I have had contact with a company with a view to having complete shafts made; again, we doubt that most owners will pay that kind of money, at least not at the moment when there are still good used ones out there. That situation of course will eventually change as those are used up.

But time has been against me to get back to this. I will do so after the Christmas period is over.
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'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

garveypeadar
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:09 am
Location: Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Motorcycle: GL1000 1977 K2

Re: U-joint grease

Postby garveypeadar » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:06 pm

New Joint showing grease nipple access and circlips
New Joint showing grease nipple access and circlips
Joint as purchased
Joint as purchased
Circlip inserted after machining
Circlip inserted after machining

garveypeadar
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:09 am
Location: Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Motorcycle: GL1000 1977 K2

Re: U-joint grease

Postby garveypeadar » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:20 pm

Another view
Another view
and another
and another

All I can say is replace the joint as a maintenance task over the winter and you will never again hear from it.
All this started when took the engine out to replace a 30yo clutch with hardened friction pads that were falling off. Then I replaced the starter clutch, coated the exhausts with PJ1.

I then machined new ends for the headers and main box if anyone would like to see as i've not fitted yet. What I mean here is the joint between the header and silencer underneath the front footrests. The male spigots rust and become holed, the exhaust becomes paper thin. So I machined new ends, cut the old ones off after using a jig to align the new parts and mig welded them in place. I also made new chrome tail pieces "from mild steel" the exhaust which i'm having chromed in the UK. They slide off if you grind the spot weld near the front of the chrome tail pipe. Some genius cut off the nice swaged ends before I got it.

I got a brain wave to powder coat the swinging arm and battery tray then so I may stop new before I strip it completely.

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Placerville
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:58 pm
Location: Placerville, CA
Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: U-joint grease

Postby Placerville » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:41 pm

If you end up going to eBay, here are two sellers that have scored consistently high marks with buyers over at the NGW for honesty, customer service and quality used parts.

TheCycleBarn1 and sparkingdogg

garveypeadar,

Thank you for the most excellent set of photos for the U joint modification. Very nice.
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
Image

sfruechte
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:53 pm
Location: La Crosse, WI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: U-joint grease

Postby sfruechte » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:44 pm

The original joint on my 77 failed in 83 with 77,000 miles on it. Was going down the interstate at 70 mph and it locked up my back wheel when it broke with no warning. The yoke broke and it could not turn freely inside the swing arm housing. If I had been going around a corner, I probably would have lost control of the bike. I was able to get to the shoulder and hitch a ride. I am surprised though that this isn't available from Honda. It was $90 for a new replacement in 83.

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Gowing2
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:42 am
Location: Liberty lake, wa.
Motorcycle: 75 gl1000

Re: U-joint grease

Postby Gowing2 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:02 pm

That's not bad sfruechet, 77000 miles, lasted a long time, but OMG you are so lucky that you
We're not hurt and were able to control your bike. I like the shaft on my 75 gl, my first ever
Shaft motorcycle, but I worry about it. I was wondering if you still have your 77 and how many
Miles on it now and the shaft condition today.

sfruechte
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:53 pm
Location: La Crosse, WI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: U-joint grease

Postby sfruechte » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:12 pm

I currently have 210,000 on the 77 and it still has the same drive shaft I replaced in 1983 at 77,000 miles. No problem and no indication of an oncoming problem. In retrospect, I remember thinking I could occasionally detect a little intermittent vibration occasionally but I only made that connection after the shaft broke. When it locked up, it would free up again for an instant and then lock up again and you could see some pretty significant scarring inside the swing arm. I have pulled that rubber boot back a few times and just took a look to see if I could still see grease in the joint or any indication of a problem.

My earlier riding style was a little (a lot) more aggressive in those early years too. What was fun at age 20 can seem pretty stupid as you get older.

Grasshutperformance
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:00 pm
Location: Detroit MI.
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: U-joint grease

Postby Grasshutperformance » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:11 pm

garveypeadar
Nice job. I would like to ask, do you feel the grease joint compromises U joint strength at all? Or do you feel it is already strong enough that it does not matter and the weak link lies else where? I ask because in racing we use solid joints, for the extra strength. I did have the joint in my 77 fail, But I could see the impressions from the needle bearings in the in the trunnions (but only the ones in the front yoke, the ones in the shaft feel fine but have not been inspected yet). So pretty sure what happened is the bearings ate into the bearing caps, the u joint twisted out, and destroyed a BUNCH of stuff! Could not ID any bearing caps, just iddy biddy bits of metal, not even one needle bearing was found! Front yoke was broken pretty well.
Tom Stark

Grasshutperformance
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:00 pm
Location: Detroit MI.
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: U-joint grease

Postby Grasshutperformance » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:14 pm

Looking at this, cutting the grooves for the clips would be easy on the lathe for the front yoke, but not for the shaft. I think I would build a fixture that would I would put on my rotary table on my Bridgeport and cut the grooves on that. With the right tooling would not be real difficult. I have a line on some U joints, will have to build one for myself, and run it in my bike as a test. I think these could be rebuilt for a reasonable fee, like maybe $100 for new u joint and modifying the yokes and assembling the shaft.
Tom




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