Rear end grind/vibration?


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Mh434
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Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:03 pm



Here's one for the pros...

A couple of months ago, I replaced my rear tire (new Dunlop MT). All went well (aside from the usual hassles), but no one within reach stocked Honda Moly 60 (apparently, it is still available, occasionally, in Canada - just not at the moment - the last local tube sold last week) or the Honda M-77 paste. As I needed the bike the next day for an overnight group ride, I ended up using a "high moly content" bearing grease that was available. All seemed to go well...for a while.

In the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a faint grinding sensation through the pegs. Nothing audible, but I can feel it. When the bike's not moving, engine etc. is smooth as silk. It's most noticeable when transitioning from throttle-on to trailing throttle, but it's still there while driving at almost any speed. As time goes on, it seems to be getting worse.

Of course, I'm having a panic attack, here (engine failing? transmission going? etc.). Then, the non-Honda rear spline lube came to mind. I started disassembling the rear end last night (again...I HATE that job!!!!). Of course, once I got to the sliding-the-wheel-off-the-splines, the driven flange (I call it the "spider") came off with the wheel, then slid out of the wheel itself, jamming the entire thing (couldn't put the wheel back on because the spider's holding it back, couldn't get the spider back into the hub, because the wheel's jamming it, etc.). I'll get it, eventually.

Now, the "high-moly grease" that I used is now a watery, black goo - it's all over the "spider" pins, and everywhere else in there. Clearly, it's not doing its job (today, I managed to find a toothpasted-tube sized tube of Honda M-77 Assembly Paste ($24 :o ), so after cleaning everything, it will be going in before re-assembly).

**My question (I know...finally got to it!):
a) Is it likely that this (poor lube issue) is causing the faint grinding sensation? Or,
b) is it more likely that my relatively low-mileage (70K miles or so on the bike) wheel bearings have, coincidentally, decided to fail (rotating the wheel with the bike on center stand doesn't produce any noticeable noise or grinding)? Or;
c) ...something else, other than the above?

I'm waiting with bated breath for the ideas of the pros here! Thanks for reading this far (sorry, but I know how difficult the "My bike's not running - what's wrong with it?" posts are to diagnose)



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702scottc
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby 702scottc » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:19 am

I think you should replace the wheel bearings anytime you have the rear tire off. They are cheap insurance and easy to replace. Dunlop tires do howl rolling down the road, how much air are you carrying in the tires? I run 40 psi front and rear. Just make sure the splines are clean when you put it back together. Did you remove the final drive and lube the shaft splines? Good time to do it and easier to get the tire out with it out of the bike. Moly paste is the best lube to use in that application, wheel bearing grease will thin once it heats up, hence the gooey mess. You should also change the fluid in your final drive at this time.

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Mh434
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:55 am

I did finally get the rear wheel off. ***TOP TIP*** - if you run into the same problem I did, with the "spider" coming off & cocking sideways, you WILL NOT get the spider & wheel out of there (each jams the other solid & you'd need at least 2 more sets of hands to do it...which there isn't room for). Here's a tip - undo the 6 Allen bolts holding the rear rotor on (mark the rotor position with a Sharpie first) & remove the rotor. That will give you the extra 1" of sideways movement for the wheel (otherwise the rotor is jammed hard against the swing arm) you need to wiggle the spider out & then remove the wheel.

Anyway, I'm mystified. The bearings have zero play, and turn as smooth as warm butter. I may replace them anyway (it can take several weeks to get parts here, though...time I don't have...so hopefully I can find some locally. I don't believe they're the source of the grinding though. I do have Hypoid 80/90 to change the diff fluid, which I will do before I put it back together (it was done a year ago, so it shouldn't be needed, but...).

I wish I had more ideas on the source of the grinding before I re-assemble it. I HATE weird noises that just appear when you're riding - especially ones that can't be recreated in the shop. You could go broke replacing perfectly good parts, looking for that elusive problem! I had hoped it would become obvious once I got it apart, but no such luck.

BTW, I keep the tire (brand new, a few weeks ago - the grinding started almost immediately after its install) at exactly 40 PSI. The rear brake pads are new, too, and the rotor is smooth.

I didn't take the diff off - I'm nervous about that. I'd have to completely remove the right muffler to access the diff nuts (I tried tonight - no access to 2 of the 4 nuts at all), and it's on so tight it won't survive. I couldn't even rotate it to get the axle out - I kind of had to "bend" it at the joint for axle clearance. From what I've read, it sounds like some people have had major problems getting their driveshafts back in, too, after tearing it all down. I guess I may have to do it, but a new exhaust isn't in my budget, so it may end up being cost-prohibitive.

Anyway, I really appreciate the suggestions - I'm going to do all of them that I can, and hope that one of them will help...

Any more thoughts, anyone?

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702scottc
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby 702scottc » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:45 am

It's a good idea to remove the final drive and lube those splines, obviously it hadsnt been done ever. Once you remove the muffler hanger bolt and loosen the clamp on the collector, soak it with PB blaster or whatever kind of penetrating oil you have and just rotate the muffler a few times, it will come loose. You don't need to remove it, just rotate it enough to gain access . As for the final drive nuts I feel your pain, mine where the same when I changed my rear tire the first time. I ended up using a chisel to break them loose. Soak them good in penetrating oil, they will come off. I think after all is said and done the noise you are hearing is the tire, mine does the same thing. I can't tell you why tires on these bikes make the noise they do, they just do. I have a new Dunlop E3 on the front of mine and it howls like a banshee, especially on curves.
If you know everything is right on the bike, don't worry about it.

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:48 pm

I'm waiting with bated breath for the ideas of the pros here! Thanks for reading this far (sorry, but I know how difficult the "My bike's not running - what's wrong with it?" posts are to diagnose)


Baited breath,
I have an idea. Maybe not a good idea. But, since your problem occurred after the new tire, have you looked at the tire itself, for any odd wear pattern, scalloping, etc ?
I can tell you from experience, your description sure sounds like my scalloped tires/s a while back. I was apparently running them a little under inflated (as the Honda manual specs), and both the front and rear tires, especially the rear got pretty badly scalloped, and would make noise in the turns, but more noticeably, would transmit vibrations through the backrest bars, and footpegs on deceleration, especially fast braking. It had peak vibrations at specific speeds as I slowed down, but it was there all the time at slower speeds. The noise in the turns seemed to mostly come from the front tire, whereas the vibrations came from the rear.
Just a thought, since your issue precipitated after the tire change, after some mileage (wear) on the tires.
After I adjusted the pressure in my tires, the scalloping virtually disappeared. It could still be felt when running your hand over the tread, but it was greatly reduced, and could not be heard or felt while riding.
I can't imagine using the wrong grease on the splines would cause an issue in that short a time span.

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Mh434
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:18 pm

I really appreciate all the suggestions- keep 'em coming!

Of course, today wasn't any better. While I was at work, my wife phoned & said she was on the way to the vet with our dog Echo, as she'd been tired & listless (NOT normal for her), and wouldn't take a treat. Vet says she has a severely enlarged heart, and has very little time left. We're heartbroken as we've had her for 14 years, since she was a pup, and she's like a child to us. A VERY bad day.

On getting home & pulling into the garage, I was faced with my 'Wing, on its side (well, almost upside down). I'd blocked it with 4 jacks, so it was solid as a rock. Until one of the jacks failed, it seems. As it was high in the air for wheel removal clearance, it fell a long way. And landed on the saddlebags & side covers that were on that side of the bike.

Righting it was extremely difficult as two of the jacks were still trapped & jammed under it. And, of course, there was no rear wheel &, as it was on its left side, I couldn't put the axle in to replace the wheel. Thankfully, I have a cherry picker, and was able to hook onto the frame & haul it upright. It's now hanging from the crane, blocked up on my ATV lift, as well as on two jacks & some stacked lumber.

Of course, I still haven't found the original problem, and now I have a bunch of new repairs to make (surprisingly, both left side crash bars bent, especially the rear one, which fielded back a couple of inches).

Naturally, all of this ihad to happen during an 11-day stretch at work, without time off. One of our other pets died last Sunday, too, so I've been dealing with that too (badly, I'm afraid).

Such is my life, at the moment. Hopefully, I can get the diff off, and see what shape the driveshaft splines are in...

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Mh434
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:13 pm

This is what I found when I got home from work, by the way (after I got the cherry picker legs under it)...


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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:30 pm

UPDATE -

Finally got the diff & driveshaft out. Absolutely spotless, all splines were well lubed & sharp, bearings flawless, and zero wear on any of the parts. Looked like they all just came off a dealer shelf. So, no sign of the problem yet.

By the way...***TOP TIP*** - the new, tiny tubes of Honda Moly77 have VERY LITTLE in them. On mine, once I cut the seal, almost half the contents were...air. Of the bottom half, a third is watery solvent. I tried shaking it, squeezing it, etc., but the grease was all in a pellet (the last quarter of the contents). In the end, I used a piece of stout wire to reach down inside & stir the stuff into some kind of useable form.

Count on using almost an entire tube for doing all the rear end splines (here, that's about $25 + tax). Too bad we can't get the old Moly60 - 20 times as much, for half the price...

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby 702scottc » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:45 am

Sorry to see your bike on its side, that really blows.. Hope its not too messed up.

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby gordonv » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:18 pm

Sorry for your troubles, all of them. Rough. Too bad you're a ferry ride away.

I have a tube of the Moly 60 I bought here. Was going to go another way the Valkyrie riders recommend, so wasn't going to us it. Next time we meet up, you can buy it off me.

As for the bearings, you don't need to go to Honda, but any bearing supply house. Just order quality ones, check where they where made, and decide if you want to buy from that country. They shouldn't be more than $10. But if they are good, don't replace them. Make sure you are putting some pressure on them when turning.

From your description, my first thought was bearing. But since you have now taken it all apart, and the usual things don't seem to be a problem, I was thinking more of the tire.

Don't go by the owners manual as to the tire pressure, you need to read the side of the tire, and no more than that COLD pressure into it.

You learned a lesson, don't leave the bike on jacks. They go down. What happened to your centre stand? I've done mine on it 3 times now. Next time I'm going to try to flip the rear plastic up and over, rather than remove the bags, as I won't need to remove the trailer hitch to remove the tire.

As for the 4 bolts holding the drive to the tube, you need to loosen all 4. After getting the axle in and the nut on, they then get tightened. This is so the rear aligns.

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Mh434
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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:57 pm

Yeah - I'm still wondering if the new tire has anything to do with it. It's my first Dunlop MT (harder compound in the centre, softer on the sides), so I don't know if that could have anything to do with it. The front Dunlop is a non-MT, and is about half worn (no signs of cupping yet, and there's no howling in turns).

It's all back together now, and we just got back from our first ride. Grinding sensation is still there, but still can only be felt through the pegs & isn't audible. It's hard to describe - it feels like a dry, gritty bearing, is irregular, and is unaffected by speed, engine revs, gear selected, etc. (although it can only be felt around 40 mph & above).

Mentioning the centre stand, unfortunately I had it retracted, as it was in the way of the ATV stand (picture appropriate face-Palm emoticon here). Next time, I'm going to also hang it from the 2 1/2 ton cherry picker. Can't fall over if it's suspended from above!

It was...entertaining...getting the driveshaft back into the universal joint. I struggled with it for over an hour and finally, in a fit of pique (and accompanied by a combination of four-letter words that was not only patently obscene, but anatomically impossible without surgery) began violently shaking, pushing, and turning all associated bits and, suddenly (and anticlimactically, I might add) it went 'click' & popped into place. "NOBODY MOVE!! NOBODY EVEN BREATHE!!!". I felt better when it was all buttoned up.

Not a lot of damage in the go-down, in the end. Gouges in the left mirror, bent pegs, etc. and (strangely) for some reason the front speakers have gone totally silent (if I had a fader, I'd suspect that, but I don't, so...).

After all the hard work, tragedy, and heartache, it's frustrating that the problem is still there. About the only thing left (aside from possible impending terminal engine or trans failure) is front wheel bearings. Lifting the front end & spinning the front wheel result in silent free-wheeling, with no sign of noise, vibration, side play, or friction, so that seems unlikely, too.

I remain,

Stymied

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:33 pm

Does the grinding stop when you use the rear brake?

Is the grinding constant at all speeds or get worse as speed increases ?

Tried different tyre pressures ?

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby gordonv » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:14 pm

Checking your wheel bearings while the rim is on the bike, you push/pull the tire side-to-side, not just spin the wheel.

I was also wondering brake rubbing also. When you "feel" the grinding, apply the brake. Does it change or go away?

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:19 pm

Tire pressure is at 40 psi, front & rear. I did try a little higher & a little lower - no change. Braking has no affect at all on the noise. It doesn't vary with speed or engine RPM, either, apart from it only becoming more noticeable at 30-40 mph. I tried coasting at speed, pulling in the clutch lever & letting the engine idle, but the grinding remains.

I did test the wheel bearings (on the bike) for side-to-side play, radial play, binding, and runout. All seemed as perfect as I've ever seen on a vehicle.

There has to be something I'm missing....

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:14 pm

If it doesn't vary with engine or road speed - then it could be a loose panel causing the vibration against another panel? I know it must be frustrating trying to isolate the grind - does the noise/grind/vibration happen when stationary?

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Bobsiler » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:24 pm

I've had a strange vibration at freeway speeds when decelerating. Mainly around 65-75 mph. Thought it might be the drive shaft splines so I pulled the rear end and shaft when I did the tire. Lubed everything up with moly 77 and still have it. A friend of mine said his 1500 is the same and suggested it may be gear transfer from the tranny? I gave up looking after going through everything. Little tip that worked well for me on the shaft to u joint alignment. I pulled back the rubber boot at the tranny and slid the u joint off to grease the splines. When I slid the rear end into place I used one hand on the diff and turned the u joint with the other while gently pushing the diff. It slid right in nice and easy.

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:26 pm

Hmmm - now there's something for me to check! The grinding doesn't happen when I'm stopped at a light. I'm going to go over the bike, and see if it's possible that something could have come loose & started rubbing somewhere. Considering that it started right after I had the wheel off last time, it's possible I created an interference somewhere...

Thanks!

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:47 pm

Mh434 wrote:It was...entertaining...getting the driveshaft back into the universal joint. I struggled with it for over an hour and finally, in a fit of pique (and accompanied by a combination of four-letter words that was not only patently obscene, but anatomically impossible without surgery) began violently shaking, pushing, and turning all associated bits and, suddenly (and anticlimactically, I might add) it went 'click' & popped into place. "NOBODY MOVE!! NOBODY EVEN BREATHE!!!". I felt better when it was all buttoned up.


My method: Shift the bike into reverse, and have an assistant hold down the starter to make the bike rotate the output shaft slowly (in reverse). While this is happening, push the drive shaft in. It goes in usually quickly and easily.

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:55 pm

Thanks, WA! Wish I'd known that before!!

In the end it went in, but it was a right bother getting it to happen using my patented "SJSSKJS" (swear-jostle-shake-swear-kick-jiggle-swear) method. :roll:

The instrument has not been invented that can measure my relief when it finally clicked into place...

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Re: Rear end grind/vibration?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:20 am

This is a video taken from an inspection camera shoved up the swingarm on my GL1500. It's taken at a 90 degree angle (i.e. the left side of the video is pointing to the ground). As you can see, the U-joint allows the output to "flop around" inside the swingarm, and it ends up resting on the bottom of the inside of the swingarm. This is what makes it so hard to get the driveshaft into it, because the driveshaft is more centered within that swingarm tube.

Rotating it slowly with the reverse, as I show in this video, moves it around and it flips up and down a bit, which gives you more of an opportunity to get the driveshaft into it. It's still tedious, but not as tedious as just guessing and trying to get it in.





I have also used the technique of pulling back the rear of the rubber boot covering the U-joint, and jamming a flat bladed screwdriver in there to "lift" the output end of the U-joint, so it aligns properly with the driveshaft as it is being inserted.




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