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If you turn the final drive unit upside down you can get to the yoke with a punch / drift. I must kept tapping and turning the yoke until it came off. I put the unit on a rubber mat to try and stop it sliding as much when I was hitting it. Hope this helps
 

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The retaining circlip for the front yoke is inside the yoke. Make sure that it snaps into the groove on the shaft when re fitting it
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
If you turn the final drive unit upside down you can get to the yoke with a punch / drift. I must kept tapping and turning the yoke until it came off. I put the unit on a rubber mat to try and stop it sliding as much when I was hitting it. Hope this helps
Thank's for that I will try that when i manage to get the shaft off the gearbox output shaft where it is rusted solid .
 

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Also, I am not sure I accept BMW's theory of no movement due to the geometry. The lower part of the final drive is mounted on roller bearings, and the swing arm moves in an arc. If there was no movement, why not bolt the swing arm solidly to the drive unit and save the cost of two really fancy sets of bearings...? When I inspected them, it seemed to me that my needle bearings in the swing arm were taking a bit of a beating. Anyways, I suspect the culprit might be condensation draining down as most of the rust is on one side of each spline section. Will take more pics as this progresses.
I’d say it‘s that way for ease of maintenance and repair. The situation makes me think of spark plugs. Ideally, you don’t need to use anti-seize lubricant on the threads, but you do because the heat of the motor (and oxidation over time) can make the metals bond enough that you’ll break the plug or damage the threads trying to remove it. There is no excuse for BMW to omit adding a layer of durable lube before joining these parts...if just to avoid this very issue. It literally would cost pennies to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
I’d say it‘s that way for ease of maintenance and repair. The situation makes me think of spark plugs. Ideally, you don’t need to use anti-seize lubricant on the threads, but you do because the heat of the motor (and oxidation over time) can make the metals bond enough that you’ll break the plug or damage the threads trying to remove it. There is no excuse for BMW to omit adding a layer of durable lube before joining these parts...if just to avoid this very issue. It literally would cost pennies to do so.
I also own a 2010 rt 30k miles splines are perfect obviously lubed from the factory.Bmw refuse to accept there is an issue there will be countless bikes on the road with this issue and for most riders a shaft failure will be the first indication to the fault.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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Also, I am not sure I accept BMW's theory of no movement due to the geometry. The lower part of the final drive is mounted on roller bearings, and the swing arm moves in an arc.
It is precisely because of this arrangement that the drive shaft length is constant. The universal joints pivot just as the needle bearing mounts do.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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you don’t need to use anti-seize lubricant on the threads, but you do because the heat of the motor (and oxidation over time) can make the metals bond enough that you’ll break the plug or damage the threads trying to remove it
With a 20,000 km change interval, I believe there's no need for anti-seize lubricant. The threads on mine at change time are always pristine, with no sign of oxidation. I've used thread lube on older cars I've serviced, but along with that comes drying out of the lubricant and some clogging of the threads by the time a plug change is due. Cleaning the threads in the head risks contaminants falling into the combustion chamber. The direct ignition caps seal off the area around the spark plug keeping it clean and dry, so I prefer not to introduce contaminants.

No excuse for BMW not lubricating the drive-shaft splines though, as there's plenty of potential for some moisture to get in there.
 

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Thank's for that I will try that when i manage to get the shaft off the gearbox output shaft where it is rusted solid .
I got my front gearbox shaft dislodged by first cutting off the zip tie on the boot on the engine side, then pushing that boot forward to expose the spline yolk area. Then I protected the pry bar with rags from touching the mini triangle frame and found an angle where I could hammer the pry bar rearward against the driveshaft.
Also verify that the needle bearing carriers on the bottom of the final drive are removed. Even after you pull the swing arm bolts, those still stick in the swing arm and negates the hammering effort you are doing in the front area. Parts 12 and 16 in this picture.
110578
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
I got my front gearbox shaft dislodged by first cutting off the zip tie on the boot on the engine side, then pushing that boot forward to expose the spline yolk area. Then I protected the pry bar with rags from touching the mini triangle frame and found an angle where I could hammer the pry bar rearward against the driveshaft.
Also verify that the needle bearing carriers on the bottom of the final drive are removed. Even after you pull the swing arm bolts, those still stick in the swing arm and negates the hammering effort you are doing in the front area. Parts 12 and 16 in this picture.
View attachment 110578
I got my front gearbox shaft dislodged by first cutting off the zip tie on the boot on the engine side, then pushing that boot forward to expose the spline yolk area. Then I protected the pry bar with rags from touching the mini triangle frame and found an angle where I could hammer the pry bar rearward against the driveshaft.
Also verify that the needle bearing carriers on the bottom of the final drive are removed. Even after you pull the swing arm bolts, those still stick in the swing arm and negates the hammering effort you are doing in the front area. Parts 12 and 16 in this picture.
View attachment 110578
Thank's very much i will give that a go All for the sake of a little marine type lube and a check added to the service schedule.
 

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I got my front gearbox shaft dislodged by first cutting off the zip tie on the boot on the engine side, then pushing that boot forward to expose the spline yolk area. Then I protected the pry bar with rags from touching the mini triangle frame and found an angle where I could hammer the pry bar rearward against the driveshaft.
Also verify that the needle bearing carriers on the bottom of the final drive are removed. Even after you pull the swing arm bolts, those still stick in the swing arm and negates the hammering effort you are doing in the front area. Parts 12 and 16 in this picture.
View attachment 110578
I got my front gearbox shaft dislodged by first cutting off the zip tie on the boot on the engine side, then pushing that boot forward to expose the spline yolk area. Then I protected the pry bar with rags from touching the mini triangle frame and found an angle where I could hammer the pry bar rearward against the driveshaft.
Also verify that the needle bearing carriers on the bottom of the final drive are removed. Even after you pull the swing arm bolts, those still stick in the swing arm and negates the hammering effort you are doing in the front area. Parts 12 and 16 in this picture.
View attachment 110578
12 & 16 just slide out.Make sure that you keep the washer 13 with sleeve 12 and note which way washer 15 comes out
 

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Cheers will watch out for that when i dismantle it .
Please do, I didn't and was surprised to see them laying on the work mat. That's why I have the above diagram.:)
Also for me, 14 was a large O ring that was around the rim of 15. When you see it, you will see that 15 fits best one good way, based on the assembly impression marks. Also 13 is a funny looking (foam?) washer.
 
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So finally getting things BACK together... A few tips.
I used a ball joint separator to free the rear section. For a few minutes, it looked like the ball joint tool was gonna lose. It eventually won, but probably is traumatized. I turned the Final Drive upside down, and then hammer, turn shaft, hammer, turn shaft etc.. Just protect the side of the final drive that is on the ground/mat/bench. It will scuff and need touch up paint. Waiting on my touch up to dry as I type...:mad:
I used a toothbrush an PB Blaster to remove as much rust residue as possible, then hosed everything with WD40. After wiping dry, I used a dry film moly spray to cover everything. Same stuff I use to lube my fifth wheel RV hitch.
If you remove the front boot zip tie, have the new one loosely in place before you insert the driveshaft. Trying to fish it through after the fact can suck.
Use a bungee cord to hold the front boot out of the way so you can see what you are doing and free up an extra hand. Then use a screwdriver through the U joint. or your fingers to help align the driveshaft and input shaft. I didn't see a snap ring, but rust removal was my primary focus.
Some pics showing the rust and the damage to the ball joint separator tool.
110585

110586

The white stuff is the factory boot grease. It was rationed during my assembly I see. Also the liquid on the bottom was remains of PB Blaster and rust residue.
110587

Brand new ball joint tool that went a few rounds with the BMW "maintenance free" final drive splines...
110588

Three different greases, and 2 days later, time to re assemble... It is now lubed for life..
 

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Oh.. one more thing. Clean the brake rotor after assembly and just before wheel install, with brake cleaner. There will be lots of times your greasy hand will turn that rotor.
 

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Mark – 2015 R1200R-LC Exclusive
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I always get nervous when I see an ‘American screwdriver’ used on a bearing-supported shaft, wondering if ball bearings are being impacted on a race (noting I don’t know what type of bearing is used on the shaft and how they are fitted). But I expect there was no option but to take this approach.

110589
 

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Yup. The “screwdriver” was the last resort. Either buy a new final drive and driveshaft to replace mine with 6700 miles, or hammer a wedge tool between the FD shaft retaining nut and the driveshaft yolk to force apart. I did use some wood under the driveshaft as close as possible to the work area to try to offset the impact. But once it’s seized, you will need a hammer and either a vertical wedge or a horizontal drift. Either option puts pressure on bearings in a way they were not made for. This is the way forward until someone invents a screw type separator/puller tool that can fit in that tiny space. Or BMW starts using grease at assembly... it’s funny they specify a type of grease but don’t use any at assembly😡

I do have everything back together and took it for a ride. Will recheck that area every 2 years (or with every final drive oil service) to prevent this going forward.
 

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Is it possible to remove the ujoint while the shaft is in place? And does the yoke have a thru hole behind the splines?
 

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Thank you so much for your help .
Also this video helped me a lot. It's in Spanish I think, so I have no idea what he is saying, but the visuals are great. The 5 minute mark shows the front area, except for me, (and I believe you) where he eaisily pried off the front shaft, I had to angle the pry tool lower and "tap" with a hammer cause it was rusted in place. Also for install, I did not have to disconnect the lower swing arm. The driveshaft slipped on very easily in the front with guidance from my fingers, and the grease... The front boot I did not remove, I just rotated in place to apply the bead of silicone grease.
 

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Is it possible to remove the ujoint while the shaft is in place? And does the yoke have a thru hole behind the splines?
Nope. The U joint is in there for good, not serviceable. That's why I doused the inside area with the dry film spray Moly pictured. I follow your thought on the thru hole. The spline does go through, and I have removed other U joints on cars and used a screw puller to remove the stuck yolk, but not on this fancy machine.
There is a company that makes an aftermarket shaft with serviceable joints, but if you cant get the original shaft off the FD, then...

If your on a 2020, I would suggest you do this service ASAP. I have seen videos of GSA's with 1000 miles and rust starting. I suspect its more a time issue. The moisture is from condensation, that drains down and rusts the splines. It's worse for people like me who don't ride much, and leave the bike stored for 5-6 months during winter after giving it it's end of season wash. Gives it plenty of time to seize. My 2017 has 6700 miles. Both splines were seized. If you catch this now, it's a 1.5 hour job, including your final drive oil change. Unfortunately, if you wait, as they say, later is greater...
 
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