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Thread: 2009 RT Drive Shaft housing Rust and Water

  1. #1
    Plasterman tgf429's Avatar
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    2009 RT Drive Shaft housing Rust and Water

    Doing my usual winter messing around on the RT and decided to Lube the splines on the drive shaft. Upon separating the final drive from the shaft I discovered a fair amount of water in the housing. The shaft and u-joint was covered with surface rust and the splines were rusty and no grease on them at all? I assume the boot on the housing was not snapped securing and allowed water to enter. Has anyone had this problem?

    Is there anything I can use to clean the surface rust off the shaft and u-joints without hurting the bearings or seals? Suggestions?


    Tom

  2. #2
    roamingbeemer roamingbeemer's Avatar
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    I am not sure how to thoroughly clean it and not damage anything. But thanks for the information. I am adding that to my list of things to do in February on my new to me 09.
    Seek Fun. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most fools do" BF
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  3. #3
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    a wire toothbrush? nylon scrub pad?

  4. #4
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Acid etch.
    But you have to take it off to do it.
    Unless you want to acid etch the whole bike.
    dc

  5. #5
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    If you have it out already, it would be a good time to get your u-joints replaced with higher quality ones from one of the few places that do it. If they have already been exposed to water, the likelihood of failure is going to be higher. My friend had his u-joints fail at 30,000 miles and one of the early signs had been some light rust on his drive shaft.
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - 28k - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
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  6. #6
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    This is good advice. Water penetration into the sealed shaft area has been associated with both premature bearing failures at the FD and early U joint failures.
    You should very carefully examine the bearing areas for any signs of rust, lube contamination or similar and consider preventative work if any significant signs are found.
    Some of the reported U joint failures especially have been potentially dangerous to the rider though I don't recall reading reports of actual injuries.

    The boot seal has a little band in it that is often broken by the ham handed. It is necessary for a good seal. Inspect your boot carefully- replace parts needed to ensure a good seal.

    Its always a good idea to drop the FD every couple years or so to look at/clean/lube rear splines and inspect for/correct any water penetration.

  7. #7
    Ken ken e's Avatar
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    Tom,

    Check and properly seal the front boot between swing arm and transmission also. That was the source of my '09 RT water in the swing arm. Was replaced by dealer under warranty. Checked out dry at every other tire spline lube. Good luck.
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    Ken E.
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    '09 RT, '93 K75, '69 R60US and others long gone....

  8. #8
    Plasterman tgf429's Avatar
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    Ken

    What did they replace, the whole drive shaft?



    Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by ken e View Post
    Tom,

    Check and properly seal the front boot between swing arm and transmission also. That was the source of my '09 RT water in the swing arm. Was replaced by dealer under warranty. Checked out dry at every other tire spline lube. Good luck.

  9. #9
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Just a heads up - there is a plastic ring on the inside ends of the rear boot. These plastic rings are used to expand the end of the boot to fit snuggly into the recesses they go into. These are unfortunately easy to break - and not available (last time I checked) as a separate part - you have to buy the entire boot to get them.

    Make SURE these are in the right place when the boot is reinstalled. If they are - and the front one also is (which has one end tie-wrapped to the transmission output flange - and the end going into the swingarm using the same sort of plastic ring) - water will not be a problem inside the swingarm.

    I've been very careful with this on my '07 - and at 76,000 miles there is no sign of any moisture intrusion in the driveshaft area - despite spending days riding in heavy rain. I would imagine if you have a GS - and the rear end was submerged for any amount of time - it would be a good idea to drop the rear drive down and re-grease the splines, and that would be a good time to check for any water that may have gotten in past the boots.

    It's also good practice to put some grease around the part of the boot that goes into the swingarm and rear-drive - it helps keep it sealed up.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  10. #10
    Ken ken e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgf429 View Post
    What did they replace, the whole drive shaft?
    No, they just replaced the front boot, cleaned, greased and sealed up everything nicely.

    As per Don's good practice note, I use a thick tacky grease to help seal boot to metal. Bel-Ray Salt Water Proof is what I have on hand.
    Ken E.
    2012 R1200RT
    '09 RT, '93 K75, '69 R60US and others long gone....

  11. #11
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    to remove surface rust you just can not beat Evapo-Rust. I used this at work on parts we reman. You can even soak a stator in it over night, it will not affect the insulation and looks like new. Fill a gas tank comes out looking like new inside. It just flat works.

    http://www.evaporust.com/

    Rod

  12. #12
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Another thought is to not use a high pressure wand near that boot...among other places...rain is one thing, crossing streams another, but, high velocity water will get past that plastic snap ring...just sayin'.

    The last one I saw with rust had never been serviced to that point and the owner told me he regularly sprayed the heck out of the whole bike at the car wash..
    Steve Henson
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  13. #13
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    My 09 rt had some rust and was very dry at my 24000 mi service. I cleaned it, lubed the heck out of it, and checked the boot.(it was loose) it has been no trouble up to now...38000 mi.

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