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Thread: No Lube Needed for Hardened Splines?

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
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    No Lube Needed for Hardened Splines?

    I had the local dealer do a 24K service on my 94 R100. I noticed that he did not list a spline lube on the invoice and asked him if they had done so. He responded that the splines on later bikes are hardened and didn't need to be lubed.

    This is news to me. I thought all splines needed to be lubed. The hardening was, I thought, a way to minimize the damage done to the splines if the lube solidified or was contaminated by water, dirt, etc.

    Is this true?

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I thought they were plated rather than hardened. In any case, I thought they had to be lubed, but just less often. Probably depends on the environment you live in...humidity, dust, etc.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
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    Kurt has it right - they are plated. In theory they just need lubed less - but dependent on a lot of conditions.
    Bear in mind BMW did not always say they needed to be lubed - and, of course, it is easy for someone to say and charge for the service without performing it - you cannot verify unless you go in yourself.
    At least they admitted not doing it - the ugliest splines I have seen came from "dealer serviced/receipts" bike.
    Bear in mind that spline failure is a no-forward-motion thing. At 24K on a 14 year old bike the splines surely bear a look - it is not such a difficult job.

    I love posts like these! It vindicates why I have blackened, cut up hands!

  4. #4
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    lube

    For some reason, I can't remember from when, I have always lubed the input splines with something called Staburags. I began using this the first time I pulled a transmission, replaced the input shaft, and reinstalled the trans. I think Oak recommended using the stuff.

    I've never had bad luck with the stuff, and BTW use it on cars or whatever when needing a high temp lube that lasts, almost, forever.

  5. #5
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    Yes indeed, the guys are right - the later chrome plated splines
    were just to add a bit more reliability/longevity to the equation, but
    they still need cleaning and lubing. I don't have ready access to
    the Staurbaug stuff, but fine that the local Honda dealer's Moly 60 paste
    works very well too. Look for a a thickish paste grease with high moly content and you should be fine.
    BMWs in my garage: 1982 R65LS, 1978 R100/7

  6. #6
    What year did they start chrome plating the splines?

  7. #7
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulfinney2 View Post
    What year did they start chrome plating the splines?
    The part number changed and the shaft got bigger after the "last editions". It would appear that the change happened with the '85 models, 800cc at the time, and later with the 1000cc models.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  8. #8
    I was under the impression that the splines were electroless nickel plated, not chrome. Got this from one of the BMW press releases at the time.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Another mechanic told me today that the splines are plated and not hardened.

    I'm no machinery engineer but I always associate plating with preventing rust. I know that some plating (like copper) can dissipate heat .

    I thought spline lubing was to prevent wear and breakage of high friction parts. That just doesn't seem to be the purpose of plating. I should have paid more attention in school and less time reading motorcycle magazines.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoridog View Post
    Another mechanic told me today that the splines are plated and not hardened.

    I'm no machinery engineer but I always associate plating with preventing rust. I know that some plating (like copper) can dissipate heat .

    I thought spline lubing was to prevent wear and breakage of high friction parts. That just doesn't seem to be the purpose of plating. I should have paid more attention in school and less time reading motorcycle magazines.
    You are correct in stating that "Spline Lube was to prevent wear".

    You are also partially correct in stating that "Plating is used to prevent rust."

    An example of plating that is used for both would be a hydraulic cylinder rod. They are Hard Chrome plated to prevent rust but it also provides a tough smooth surface for the seals to rub against.

    You can also both harden and plate a part. this gives you the toughness for wear and some corrrosion protection.

    Did BMW have a concern or problem with the Air Heads drive shafts rusting? If so this may explain why they chose to add plating.

    I know on my 85 K the splines had a dry powder on them that was red and could possibly be taken for rust.

    Roy
    Roy G.
    85 K100RT Ol Ruby "Gone but not forgotten"
    02 K1200LTC Hoss "Wrecked on 9/21/14"
    12 R1200RT

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