Spare Final Drive Project

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2004

I’m concerned that re-shimming my rear end may not have solved the problem. I’ve decided to find and prepare a replacement final drive should my current drive continue to shed metal bits.

box of final drive

box of final drive

box of final drive
brake side

brake side

brake side

This is the drive I found with the help of some friends.
The drive splines look good. The case is dirty, and ugly, but should clean up nice. The real question is what will the gear set look like.
The only way to know is to pull it apart and take a look.

remove brake shoes

remove brake shoes

remove brake shoes
shoes ready for storage

shoes ready for storage

shoes ready for storage

I removed the brake shoes. The friction material looks almost new. I cleaned the friction material up with some brake cleaner and then wiped the shoes (but not the friction material) down with a rag dipped in WD-40. They cleaned up real nice. I might put these shoes on the bike as the current shoes are using a friction material that is made for hydraulic applications.

puller screws

puller screws

puller screws
open case

open case

open case

There was no gear oil to speak of in the drive. The drain plug isn’t the magnetic type; couldn’t look for metallic splinters.
The nuts holding the case were removed and the case opened using the appropriate puller screws from the Ed Korn Many-in-one tool-kit. The remains of the paper gasket looked like it was turning to mildew in some spots.

removing crown gear

removing crown gear

removing crown gear
spacer shim

spacer shim

spacer shim
crown gear bearing shim

crown gear bearing shim

crown gear bearing shim

Some wooden blocks were used to hold the cover off the bench while I applied heat until the crown gear fell out of the cover.
Curious, I measured the case temp as soon as the crown gear fell: 285 degrees F. I also measured the current shims. The brass thrust ring to set backlash is 2.36 mm, the crown gear bearing shim is 0.63 mm.
0.63 is a standard size for a “spacer washer” according to the parts book, but the standard sizes for a thrust ring are 2.3 mm and 2.4 mm.
Seems the part in this drive has turned into an in-betweener.

bad bearing?

bad bearing?

bad bearing?

I pulled the bearing from the crown gear and cleaned it up. I think it will have to be replaced. There is a rough spot. I’ll try cleaning it some more on the off chance the roughness is a bit of dirt. I’ll also looking at it under the loupe.

cover, outside

cover, outside

cover, outside
cover, inside

cover, inside

cover, inside

The cover cleaned up quite nicely with some simple green, WD-40, and a scotchbright sponge. The breather hole was plugged solid. A pipe cleaner helped get it free of grunge. I dried it with the help of compressed air then wiped it down with WD-40 and put it away.

final drive input

final drive input

final drive input
Ed Korn gear holder

Ed Korn gear holder

Ed Korn gear holder

I used the Ed Korn gear holder to hold the pinion and coupling hub while removing the nut. The holder also helped keep things from moving as I bent down the tabs on the lock plate. Easy.

coupling hub

coupling hub

coupling hub

The parts book calls this the “coupling hub”. It couples the drive shaft to the final drive. This one has quite a bit of wear on the seal surface. The gears also has a noticeable step. I suppose it’s usable, but I’ll be looking for a replacement that doesn’t have quite so much wear.

threaded ring removal

threaded ring removal

threaded ring removal

This is the easy way to remove the threaded ring. The coupling hub nut and lock plate lightly hold the Ed Korn tool in place and an air impact wrench gently breaks the threaded ring free. I looked at the threaded ring afterwards and notices that there was zero wear in the notches in the removal direction, but there was some wear in two if the notches in the installation direction. Looks like the factory installer slipped when tightening down the ring oh so many years ago.

Pinion and bearing

Pinion and bearing

Pinion and bearing
final drive case

final drive case

final drive case

Once the ring was removed I stood the case on end and applied heat until the pinion and bearing fell out. I cleaned up the bearing a little without removing it just to see what it is like. I think it is fine and need not be replaced. I also measured the shim at 0.39 mm. One of the standard sizes was 0.38. I’ll check again when the shim is cool.

That’s all for today. I cleaned up my work area and covered the case. I’ll tackle the insides of the case and check the needle bearing next time.

Thursday, Oct 28, 2004

cleaning time

cleaning time

cleaning time
work in progress

work in progress

work in progress

I wiped off the excess grunge then brought out the parts cleaner to attack the case. Some Goof Off helped remove parts of the paper gasket that didn’t want to come off easily. After getting the dirt loose in the parts washer I moved to the sink where Simple Green, a scotchbright sponge, and very hot water took care of the rest. Once the inside was clean I used compresses air to make sure it was dry and then coated inside and out with excessive amounts of WD-40. There’s a reason I buy it by the gallon!

cleaned case outside

cleaned case outside

cleaned case outside
cleaned case inside

cleaned case inside

cleaned case inside

The last step was to coat the exterior of the case with Aluminum Jelly and let it sit for about 15 minutes before again rinsing in hot water and coating in WD-40. The results are pretty good. It looks nearly as good as the bead blasted case that is currently on the bike. I bet another 10-20 minutes of Aluminum Jelly would make it perfect.

drive splines

drive splines

drive splines
crown gear

crown gear

crown gear

I could see the drive splines were OK (certainly not great) and was quite happy to find the gear-set in otherwise excellent shape.
Also, I cleaned and oiled the big bearing. What ever it was I felt yesterday is gone. As best as I can tell the needle bearings are also in good shape. There was no grit or slivers to be found inside the case. It looks like all I’ll need are some new seals and gaskets to get this drive back together.

a little heat

a little heat

a little heat
needle bearing

needle bearing

needle bearing
That pesky seal

That pesky seal

That pesky seal

I was going to leave the crown gear needle bearing alone, but remembered that the original seals might not have been up to hypoid gear oil. The seal is under the bearing. A little heat applied to the case and the needle bearing fell out. I cleaned it and checked it by mounting it on the inner race attached to the ring gear. Very smooth. It will be replaced. Now for that pesky seal. I used to have a tool just for digging something like that out, but can’t find it right now.
Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Saturday, Nov 27, 2004

It’s been a while. I ordered the needed seals and, while I was at it, gaskets and some shims for the ring gear "just in case". I now have a complete set of those particular shims.

seal in final drive cover

seal in final drive cover

seal in final drive cover

This image shows the new seal in the cover and, in the upper right of the image, another new seal in the pinion retaining nut. That seal faces the drive shaft as it’s job is to keep the oil in the drive shaft out of the final drive.

seal puller

seal puller

seal puller
nicked axle tube

nicked axle tube

nicked axle tube

Bernd, on the /2 mailing list, mentioned removing the axle tube to make seal removal easier. Not needed, I replied. I’ve got this nifty seal puller…. Well, I should have listened for two reasons. 1) its easier to install the seal with the tube removed, and 2) you won’t scratch the tube if you remove it before removing the seal, nifty seal puller or not. Luckily, nothing actually touches the tube, so I get away with the scratches this time.
I did dress the tube with a fine file and some crocus cloth to make sure there were no rough surfaces.

case w/o axle tube

case w/o axle tube

case w/o axle tube
seal installed

seal installed

seal installed

Installing the new seal is a snap with the axle tube removed. After the seal was installed I heated the case again to install the axle tube, then applied a bit more heat and let the ring gear needle bearing slip into place. The assembly was covered to keep dirt and dust out then put away to cool down. I’ll get back to it another day – other duties call right now.

Sunday, Nov 28, 2004

I’ve got some time to spend on this project this afternoon. The Sunday morning ride was cold (SF Bay Area cold – 40ish :-) but it warmed up enough to work in the garage, later.

pinion bearing shim

pinion bearing shim

pinion bearing shim
pinion before heat

pinion before heat

pinion before heat
pinion after heat

pinion after heat

pinion after heat

I cleaned the shim for the pinion and made sure it was placed correctly, then placed the pinion with bearing in the case and applied heat until the gear/bearing dropped into place. It didn’t take much heat. The case was about 160 ºF. The third picture also shows the end of the work I did yesterday: the axle tube and needle bearing are back in the case.

Threaded ring with seal

Threaded ring with seal

Threaded ring with seal
coupling hub

coupling hub

coupling hub

What’s wrong with the second picture? I installed the threaded ring and torqued it down to 80 ft-lbs, then put the coupling hub over the pinion shaft and scratched my head. Something was wrong.
The coupling hub lock plate wouldn’t fit. Ooops… I forgot the seal ring that goes between the bearing and the coupling hub. Off comes the threaded ring. I must like doing things twice. This is a good picture of the replacement coupling I found. It’s used, but doesn’t have the large step that was worn into the original part.

seal ring

seal ring

seal ring

This picture shows the missing seal ring. I re-installed the threaded ring, torqued it down to 80 ft-lbs, installed the coupling hub, the locking plate, and the nut (also torqued to 80 ft-lbs) then bent a section of the locking plate to stop the nut from loosening.

checking gear position

checking gear position

checking gear position
bearing on ring gear

bearing on ring gear

bearing on ring gear

I used some dry marker on part of the ring gear to check the gear positions. The backlash feels OK. The ring gear was loosely rubbed against the pinion and there was dry marker transfer off the ring gear (pictured) onto the pinion. It’s a bit toward the back of the gear, which is OK (I think) as there was zero pressure applied. These are the shims that came out of the unit and I didn’t change any of the bearings. They should be OK. Lastly I put the big bearing on the ring gear. That’s all for today. I’ll finish up next time.

Monday, Nov 29, 2004

new gasket

new gasket

new gasket
Measurement one

Measurement one

Measurement one

A new gasket was placed on the body in preparation for measuring the needed shim size for the ring gear. Parallels and a depth micrometer were used to measure the bearing hight, specifically the distance between the gasket surface and the upper edge of the outer race. In a perfect world the measurement would be the same all around the case. It wasn’t. The range was 1.387 ~ 1.392 inch. Repeated measurements returned the same values. Moving the ring gear and bearing didn’t make any difference; the same place on the case measured the same distance. OK, that’s the way it is.

Measurement two

Measurement two

Measurement two

The second measurement was the depth of the pocket for the ring gear bearing. The same parallels were used, plus the addition of a 0.185 inch cross piece. The parallel widths will cancel when calculating the shim size. Again, there was a repeatable variance in measurements: 1.605 ~ 1.607 inch. I calculated the shim size twice, using the high and low values for the two measurements to get the full range. The calculation is:

pocket depth - 0.185 inch - bearing height - 0.002 required play

1.605 - 0.185 - 1.392 - 0.002 = 0.026 shim

1.607 - 0.185 - 1.387 - 0.002 = 0.033 shim

I used the extremes to get the worst case. I believe too tight is worse than too loose, so the biggest standard shim less than or equal to 0.026 inch was my target shim. Standard shim sizes (in inches) are 0.008, 0.011, 0.015, 0.195, 0.025, 0.0295, and 0.039. 0.025 is what the measurement said I should use. That’s the size of the shim that was in the rear end. That’s also the expected result as I didn’t change any of the bearings.

special tool

special tool

special tool
shim installed

shim installed

shim installed
gear installed

gear installed

gear installed

I took an idea from Kees and used a cut off soda can as a seal protector. The shim was dropped into its slot. The gear was placed where it belonged, held up by the bearing. Heat was applied until the bearing/gear assembly dropped into place. A little pressure was used to make sure the bearing was fully seated as the cover cooled.

That’s all I’ve time for today. I’ll finish putting things together next time.

Wednesday, Dec 1, 2004

case and cover with ring gear

case and cover with ring gear

case and cover with ring gear
Other hardware

Other hardware

Other hardware

I was busy yesterday, but will finish up, more or less, today. The ring gear is in the cover and the cover and case are at the same temperature. The hardware has been soaked in parts dip and otherwise cleaned. The vent cap is pretty rusty, and the brake lever really needs to be re-plated.

cover on case

cover on case

cover on case
final drive ready to go

final drive ready to go

final drive ready to go

I turned the ring gear and the pinion just to get a feel of how tight things are before putting the case together. The tightness is due to friction on the new seals. Since the case and cover are both cold they fit together easily; no binding. The cover nuts were tightened in a cross pattern: 1 3 5 2 4 6 … The final step was to heat the cover then press down on the ring gear to make sure it was in its proper operating position. I got that hint from Kees page on final drive repair (which seems to have gone away when geocities shut down). I checked gear movement and backlash after the case cooled. It feels fine.

painted vent cover

painted vent cover

painted vent cover

Some naval jelly, a wire brush, and then a file got the rust off of the vent cap. I cleaned and dried the vent cap then hit it with some rattle can paint after heating the paint can in hot water. Experience with this paint tells me it will dry to an aluminum looking color.

I’ll put this unit on the shelf for now. If I find shavings in the oil of my current final drive next service I’ll swap it out with this drive, using the existing brake lever and drain plug. The existing lever looks better as it was plated 4 years ago. The existing drain plug is the magnetic type. The one that came with this unit, isn‘t.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

I checked the original final drive during the 9600 mile service and found metal bits where there shouldn’t have been metal bits. The original final drive came off the bike, replaced with the drive I put together for this project. I finally got around to opening up the original drive and found some good things and some bad things.

The good: I think I caught things before permanent damage was done.

The bad: The problems were self-inflicted.

pinion coupling gear

pinion coupling gear

pinion coupling gear

I used Ed Korn’s tool to hold the pinion coupling gear as I bent the lock tab flat to remove the nut. As soon as the lock tab was flat I noticed that the nut was not tight. I know it was tight when I put the drive together. The nut and locking tab hold the coupling against a bushing/spacer that rides on the inner race of the bearing. If the nut is loose the bearing must have moved. That means that the bearing/shim were not seated in the final drive housing when I installed it the first time.
That also means that I was using the wrong shim as I thought the pinion was correctly positioned.

pinion position, first test

pinion position, first test

pinion position, first test
pinion position, second test

pinion position, second test

pinion position, second test

To check that theory I cleaned the pinion with some acetone, then marked it using a dry-erase marking pen. When it dried I dropped the ring gear back into the case and gave the pinion a spin in the drive direction. When the ring gear was removed the markings on the pinion show that the spacing is wrong. I repeated the test. In a perfect world the marking would be removed from the center of the pinion. Instead the pinion is too far toward the rear of the bike causing the load to be on the portion of the pinion closer to the front of the bike. A larger spacer is needed.

removing pinion bearing holder

removing pinion bearing holder

removing pinion bearing holder
pinion and bearing removed from case

pinion and bearing removed from case

pinion and bearing removed from case

I removed the pinion from the case and checked the shim. It is 0.38 mm. Standard size shims are 0.2, 0.28, 0.38, 0.50, 0.63, 0.75, and 1.00 mm thick. I’ll probably try a 0.63 mm shim next, this time making absolutely, positively sure that the bearing/shim are fully seated and that the case if fully cooled before measuring. But first I’ve got to get some new shims… I don’t have any here at home.