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Thread: 2003 K1200GT - how to keep drive shaft in proper phase

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL

    2003 K1200GT - how to keep drive shaft in proper phase


    Before I open up the final drive to grease the spline and check wear, are there some tricks to keep the two shafts in proper phase? Phase is a new term to me but I think it means keeping the Universal joints in proper positions to avoid vibration or something bad.

    History on my 2003 K1200GT and 27k miles is missing for greasing of the splines. After 16 years, probably a good thing to investigate. Lots of work done at BMW shops but no mention of FD work. Looked like a chance to try out my new 30mm cutout socket.

    After tipping down the FD and separating the shorter rear drive shaft from the longer drive shaft, I can then check that spline. But when I remove the short rear drive shaft off the FD to check the rear spine, isn't there a problem with not reconnecting it in the same location. Get it out of phase?

    Bike running great, no problems with the FD just preventative medicine.

    Thanks for your ideas.
    2003 K1200GT

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Have a look at the "similar threads" pane at the bottom of this page. Those threads may give you some ideas.
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Nibley, UT USA
    Start by inspecting with a strong flashlight, to see the current status of phasing. I’ve never seen one in perfect alignment, only as close as possible given the spacing and location of the splines. If it looks good, then clean a visible location on both sections and apply a spot of automotive marking paint to indicate where they align. With a proper cleaning and paint application you’ll have a permanent checkpoint.

    And yes, those center splines need to be lubed. Failing to do so can load the u-joints and induce premature failure. DAMHIKT.

    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  4. #4
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    Just to answer the question "What is phasing the U-joints?", here are a couple of pics showing the desired setup:
    U-Joint Phasing.gif

    The ideal condition is when the yokes are perfectly aligned to each other; how close one can get it depends on the mating splines themselves - how many there are and how big they are, as this directly affects the number of degrees per spline. Sometimes you can only get it very close, not quite perfect. Proper alignment maintains equal velocity through the U-joints, which increases their life and reduces vibration.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Good stuff. Looks like you saved me from creating a problem. I will mark it as I open it up and recheck. Good tip on flashlight inspection down the tunnel and the pictures showing me perfect and incorrect Phased U joints.

    Open slow and mark. Check pictures and confirm marking. Got it.

    I haven't heard or felt any existing vibration on the shaft. My goal was to simply inspect and grease.

    Does anyone have a source for the boot ties in metal instead of the BMW plastic ties? I would prefer reusable bands, if possible instead of waiting for parts in the mail each time. BMW ties are not bad at $3 each.

    Thanks again
    2003 K1200GT

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