help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi


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roadwanderer2
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help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »



has anyone have any ideas of an easy way to put the outer driveshaft back into the universal joint WITHOUT removing the swing arm?

i've tried raising the swingarm up to get it level with the u-joint, lowering the swingarm, turning the u-joint around by hand with the trans in neutral on the output shaft and the drive shaft will only go onto the yoke about a half inch. for some reason i can't get this d/s to slide all the way onto the outer shaft yoke. i can't put the rest of this bike back together until i can bolt in the final drive.

any ideas will be extremely appreciated.

stuart.



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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Stuart - The driveshaft install can be a PITA. I separate the drive shaft from the FD as the FD is quite heavy and be very taxing afte a fashion. I drop the swingarm so that I can manipulate the u-joint and driveshaft at the same time, then install the swingarm and put the u-joint on the engine output shaft. Works for me. And takes about 15 minutes. I then install the FD on the driveshaft - lots of play and you should not damage the driveshaft oil seal.

I'm thinking you have the right side of the swingarm out and can move the swingarm up and down. Separate the driveshaft from the FD and do the driveshaft and u-joint install first. Easier to manipulate the driveshaft without the FD attached. Try putting the u-joint on the driveshaft first, then the u-joint on the engine output shaft. Make sure the long end of the u-joint is on the engine side. Once the u-joint is installed, connect the right side of the swingarm then install the FD on the driveshaft.

As an aside, have you tried installing the u-joint on the driveshaft with these items off the bike. You will be able to see exactly what the fit is.

Good Luck. Cheers
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

Hey Ernest, your right, this is a PITA. no i do NOT have the swingarm off the bike. i removed the final drive and shaft the same way as you would to remove the rear wheel. when i removed the drive shaft, there was no oil seal that came out with it. its either still inside the front end of the swingarm or it was never there to begin with.

i have both shock bolts removed from the swingarm and thats how i am able to move the swingarm up and down while its still attached to the bike. while i had the motor off, i removed the universal yoke and fitted the drive shaft onto it and it did go all the way up onto the universal yoke, but once i tried to get it to fit when i reinstalled the motor, the driveshaft won't go back onto the yoke. and yes, i am trying to install the shaft before i attach the final drive to the swingarm.

are you saying that i have to drop the right side of the swingarm off the bike to get this shaft back together? is that possible to do without removing the entire swingarm?

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by CrystalPistol »

I've had my '85 gl1200's FD / drive shaft / U-joint out at every rear tire change and have never loosened the swing arm bolts. It's not all that hard. First, saddle bags off and out of the way, lower shock bolts loose and tied away, wheel off. Remove 4 nuts, and reach around to front and push rubber boot loose from engine .... grab FD in palm of left hand under front most part near those 4 bolts and pull FD back while applying slight rotational force to lift drive shaft end .... while giving a nudge to the U-joint on engine output shaft to start it moving backwards .... and U-joint has always come out with drive shaft and FD.

Usually my U-joint has been stiff enough that it will stay for a spell in whatever position I place it in due to the seals on the cross shaft of the joint between the yokes. If it's a little loose, a few wraps of 2" wide masking tape around the joint sill help it hold position .... worst will happen is the masking tape comes loose ..... but it will not hurt anything and will be there next time. Lube the splines, straighten U-joint, place on drive shaft with long end of U-joint to engine, insert drive shaft into final drive, palm FD in left hand towards front where those 4 studs are, guide it in and with right hand, reach around to front and guide U-joint onto shaft end with finger tip.

Work boot back over lip at rear of engine. Reinstall other parts & bags.

If you have someone helping, let them help with the U-joint to output shaft engagement.
Hey Ernest, your right, this is a PITA. no i do NOT have the swingarm off the bike. i removed the final drive and shaft the same way as you would to remove the rear wheel. when i removed the drive shaft, there was no oil seal that came out with it. its either still inside the front end of the swingarm or it was never there to begin with.
There is no seal in the swing arm up that tube. Only a boot between the engine and swing arm to keep excess dust and water out. The only seal on the drive shaft is at the rear where it seals at the FD (final drive).


Picture below shows GL1500 shafts and U-joints .... but just like with a 1200 the longer end of U-joint goes to engine (1500s do not share the same U-joint however, just used picture to illustrate).
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by marlin_1 »

I stuck a piece of metal about 1/8 or 1/4 under the u joint from the engine side thru the bottom side of the boot after a few adjustments worked like a charm

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

CrystalPistol wrote: while giving a nudge to the U-joint on engine output shaft to start it moving backwards .... and U-joint has always come out with drive shaft and FD.
are you saying that the universal joint yoke can slide out of the FD side of the swingarm? i'll have to see if i can maneuver the yoke out of the swingarm. the u-joints on this bike are kinda "sloppy". not sure if they will hold still long enough for me to get it out of the FD end of the swingarm.

thank you for this information, i'll tackle that tomorrow morning and let you know how it went.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by marlin_1 »

no with the u joint on the engine slip a small piece of something under the u joint two get it at the right angle for the shaft to be aliganed just right to slip right in I did it by holding the u joint with my fingers so it would not slip off the engine while I slid the piece of metal under the u joint to get the right angle

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

marlin_1 wrote:no with the u joint on the engine slip a small piece of something under the u joint two get it at the right angle for the shaft to be aliganed just right to slip right in I did it by holding the u joint with my fingers so it would not slip off the engine while I slid the piece of metal under the u joint to get the right angle

ok, i'll give that a try tomorrow as now its getting dark here and my drop light isn't gonna cut it with enough light to be able to see what im doing.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

Hey marlin, you mentioned a small piece of metal to slide under the u-j, maybe something like a shoe horn with its semi rounded shape or a right angle pick strong enough to hold the u-j up?.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by CrystalPistol »

roadwanderer2 wrote:
CrystalPistol wrote: while giving a nudge to the U-joint on engine output shaft to start it moving backwards .... and U-joint has always come out with drive shaft and FD.
are you saying that the universal joint yoke can slide out of the FD side of the swingarm? i'll have to see if i can maneuver the yoke out of the swingarm. the u-joints on this bike are kinda "sloppy". not sure if they will hold still long enough for me to get it out of the FD end of the swingarm.

thank you for this information, i'll tackle that tomorrow morning and let you know how it went.

stuart.
Absolutely it will on all GL bikes ..... and even if "loose", it'll follow on the end of the drive shaft as you withdraw it while holding up on the FD. You maybe missed the tip about a loose U-joint ..... when you reinstall, wrap 3 wraps of wide masking tape around the joint, it'll hold it up and no harm. Even if the U-joint slips off the end as you withdraw it and lays in the drive shaft tube, a coat hanger wire with a tight hook will grab it.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

well, i went back out to my garage and tried to get the yoke end of the u-j to slide down the final drive side of the swingarm and it won't go beyond a half inch or so from the engine side of the swingarm. i don't know why it won't come out the FD end, but it won't budge. at this point, im almost ready to drop lower engine mounting bolts and lower the back end of the motor down and pull the yoke out of the engine side of the swingarm and see if it has a burr on it thats causing the shaft not to be going into it. if it looks good, i'll see if i can get the yoke to slide up the swingarm with the shaft attached to it. i've got to get this D/S and the F D back together so i can get this bike running again before the really cold weather sets in so i can get maybe another week or 2 of riding.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Heard about it being possible to remove the u-joint down the driveshaft tube. Tried it when I had the engine out and the bike torn apart, the LTD and SEi u-joints will not slide out with the drive shaft.

The oil seal is on the FD end of the driveshaft to prevent FD oil from spewing down the tube towards the engine - see pic:


The issue is to get the driveshaft and u-joint lined up. With the u-joint on the engine output shaft, the end of the u-joint that you want to fit the driveshaft into will always be at an angle. If you can, try inserting the driveshaft into the u-joint with the u-joint off the engine, then put the u-joint onto the engine output shaft. Once you have this done, install the FD onto the driveshaft and bolt up. Working with only the driveshaft and u-joint without the FD attached is way easier.

There is no magic solution, this works for me.

Good luck.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Stuart - you can remove the u-joint without doing anything to the engine. Drop the right side of the swingarm. Pull back the u-joint dust boot. You will have to move the rear brake light switch out of the way as well as the fuel pp (you do not have to disconnect wiring or fuel hoses from the fuel pump. You should be able to pull the u-joint out after this is done.

Cheers
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

'mornin guys.......Ernest, i see in your photos a snap ring.......does that snap ring have to go back onto the shaft? i already have the dust boot off,(i'll have to get a new one because the one thats on it is already torn apart, not by me), and the brake light switch, spring and fuel pump are already out of the way. your correct about the yoke not coming out of the shaft tube. will the right side of the swingarm drop down without any major problems? my FD is not bolted up yet. i am doing as suggested, trying to install the shaft before i bolt up the FD.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rusty Bike »

That circle clip is not needed. A new FD seal is needed and is still available at last check. When I did mine I had the swingarm off to replace seals and check n lube bearings, also replaced the illusive final shaft seal. Slid UJ on final shaft. You must use molly grease in splines. Installed swingarm. Slid in driveshaft with moly on it. Saw the problem with alignment so propped up swingarm to fairly level. Next I slid a long pry bar down SA tube. After starting DS end into yoke I used the pry bar to gently lift the shaft/yoke into alignment and gently pushed the shaft home. Notice i used the word GENTLY twice. More molly lube then installed FD. I know, the DS to FD spline runs in FD lube but I used the molly lube anyhow. All fasteners properly torqued. Pretty easy once I figured out the pry bar thing. When refilling the FD case I added a gear box additive called "Molly Slip" to the gear lube. Also be sure an apply molly paste to FD flange splines and drive pins. Good luck.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Stuart - the snap ring is installed at the factory, does not have to be reinstalled. Discard/throw it away.

Remove the right side swing arm bolt an the swing arm will move around easily without any problems. Check the torque on both sides when putting back together.

When you put the new boot on, make sure it is oriented properly. Should have a mark on the swingarm end that indicates "TOP". I'd install the new boot with the u-joint out, but you might want to mate the driveshaft and u-joint first then put on the new boot. With the boot off you have a little more room to maneuver. Keep the u-joint as far into the swingarm as possible then install the new boot.

Had a '62 Chrysler Windser when I was a young lad and the 383 went through starters. The only way to remove the starter was to drop it down, slide it forward along the transmission lines and drop it out close to the rad. Worked fine 9 out of 10 times, but that tenth was a royal PITA. These things happen, it will work out.

Cheers
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I put moly on the FD end of the driveshaft the first time and found the colour of the FD oil changed to gray, but no harm to the FD. Tried using a bar, piece of wood, shim, anything I could find recommended on these forums to align the driveshaft to the u-joint, but to no avail. Once you get a system that works for you, the job goes much better. Will be doing the back end maintenance in February coming, looking forward to going a few rounds with the bike at that time. Would not want to be paying a shop time and material for this work.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by MikeB »

I have not worked on the 1200 but have done a few 1500 drive shaft installs and it is not difficult at all. The trick is to use a 1/8" x 1" piece of flat stock steel. It needs to be long enough so that it protrudes from the swing arm tube when it is placed in the tube under the universal joint. I believe that a 24" length is long enough.

No disassembly of the swing should be needed at its pivot point.

Place the length of flat stock into the swing arm and position it under the universal joint. The universal joint will be propped up to accept the drive shaft once this is done. With the drive shaft removed from the final drive, slide it into the swing arm and mate it to the universal joint. Remove the 1'8" x 1" x 24" flat stock and put it away. The final drive can be mated to the drive line and the seal will go into the driven cup with little effort. Bolt the final drive to the swing arm.

Let us know if this works for you.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by MikeB »

CrystalPistol wrote: Absolutely it will on all GL bikes ..... and even if "loose", it'll follow on the end of the drive shaft as you withdraw it while holding up on the FD. You maybe missed the tip about a loose U-joint ..... when you reinstall, wrap 3 wraps of wide masking tape around the joint, it'll hold it up and no harm. Even if the U-joint slips off the end as you withdraw it and lays in the drive shaft tube, a coat hanger wire with a tight hook will grab it.
So you are 100% sure that the universal joint will slide out of the swing arm towards the final drive on all GL series bikes?

I really do not think that is possible. I just replaced the universal joint on my GL1500 and there is no physical way that the universal joint will come out the rear of that swing arm. It must be withdrawn from the front and reinstalled from the same direction. Maybe it is possible on some models of the GL but not on a GL1500.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

well guys, i want to thank you all for your help and suggestions with this. im going to try all the above mentioned and see if it works like you all said it should.

i don't have any flat steel stock to use, but im going to try something. i have a heavy thick vertical blind that im not using, so im gonna cut the sides off of it and use the long, 34" flat part as a "guide" so to speak to try and line up the yoke to the DS splines. the plastic is thick and hard enough to not bend once its put into the DS tube. it might make a good substitute for the flat steel stock. thats all i have available to use, that or one of my flat tire irons that i use to remove tires from the wheels.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by MikeB »

Whatever you do use, it doesn't have to be steel or really strong for that matter, just strong enough to hold the universal joint up and narrow enough so that it does not sit too high in the swing arm tube to allow for insertion of the drive line.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by CrystalPistol »

MikeB wrote:
CrystalPistol wrote: Absolutely it will on all GL-1200 bikes ..... and even if "loose", it'll follow on the end of the drive shaft as you withdraw it while holding up on the FD. You maybe missed the tip about a loose U-joint ..... when you reinstall, wrap 3 wraps of wide masking tape around the joint, it'll hold it up and no harm. Even if the U-joint slips off the end as you withdraw it and lays in the drive shaft tube, a coat hanger wire with a tight hook will grab it.
So you are 100% sure that the universal joint will slide out of the swing arm towards the final drive on all GL series bikes?

I really do not think that is possible. I just replaced the universal joint on my GL1500 and there is no physical way that the universal joint will come out the rear of that swing arm. It must be withdrawn from the front and reinstalled from the same direction. Maybe it is possible on some models of the GL but not on a GL1500.
I wasn't reading so close as I typed that. Something about this website and one other I go to that my wireless key board sometimes misses characters .... but never on most others? I usually review my posts before hitting submit some better than that? :roll:

Anyway, that was not what I intended and I can't now edit my post. You are correct ..... U-joint will NOT come though on a GL-1500 swing arm. There is a 2-1/16" restriction just behind the U-joint in the 1500's swing arm and the larger GL1500 U-joint at near 2-1/2" across will not pass through it.

I intended to say all GL-1200s .... but I see where someone said it won't on his '86 SEi? Looking at part numbersjust now, they use same U-joints but part number for swing arm assy changed ..... so maybe not? I can say it sure will on my '85 Aspencade and a buddy's Interstate.
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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by roadwanderer2 »

gentlemen, i have to admit, all of you definitely know what your talking about. i dropped the right side of the swingarm down and removed the uj yoke, taped it up with some strong masking tape to hold it in position, reinstalled the yoke, (longer side forward), put some moly lube onto it, slid it onto the output shaft. while i had the swingarm bolt off, i put some moly lube on the inner end and bolted it back into the swingarm, and with a little "wiggling and patience" the DS slid onto the splines of the uj yoke and it fit perfectly. i now have the FD bolted back onto the swingarm. NOW i can start bolting everything else back onto the bike, IE: rear brake caliper bracket and caliper, wheel and tire, axle, saddlebags and shocks.

i am NOT going to try to start the bike up because it has another ground short. both battery cables get very hot and the ground cable smokes if i hold the starter button in for more than 10 seconds. im gonna finish putting the bike back together and next month, im taking it back down to alabama to the "electrical gurue" that fixed whatever he did to get it running the last time. i dont want to mess with any wires in fear i might rip something apart that he's already fixed or catch the bike on fire.

THANK YOU ONE AND ALL FOR HELPING ME GET THIS SITUATION RESOLVED :D :D :D :D :D.

stuart.

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Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by Goldenponyboy »

I'm just about to pull this all apart this weekend to lube it up and be ready for another 20k kms. Not looking forward to the c clip at the front of the drive shaft.....

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Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: help with the drive shaft reinstall on an 86 1200 SEi

Post by CrystalPistol »

Goldenponyboy wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:02 am
I'm just about to pull this all apart this weekend to lube it up and be ready for another 20k kms. Not looking forward to the c clip at the front of the drive shaft.....

C clip?
I had an '85, the only c clip on the DS just held spring on splined end, but no need to remove it as it only holds the spring on when the shaft is off the bike, the spring holds tension on that front U-joint in use.


Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
:)

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