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GL1200 Interstate drive shaft problem

1244 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mrtwowheel
I've been having a drive shaft problem ever since I've bought my bike a couple of years ago. The first time, it turned out the PO had the wrong spring on the u-joint side of the drive shaft and it caused the drive shaft to come out of the u-joint. It started giving me problems again about a month ago and I thought that the new to me drive shaft might have some weak springs since they were used, so I ordered new springs and before they came in, it happened again, the drive shaft jumped out of the u-joint. This past week, I pulled the rear end and drive shaft and replaced the springs with the new ones and inspected the splines on the u-joint, drive shaft and rear end. I went for a ride today, and it only did it once, but I felt it jump out and back in again. Has anyone ever had this problem before, it has me puzzled. :wtf:
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The ujoint is directional. Are you sure it's installed correctly?
Did the drive shaft come from another year or model and maybe is a little shorter?

Drawing a blank here, but seems like I remember one of the models changed shaft length.

It would seem very difficult for the correct shaft to pull completely out of the u-joint with everything bolted. I would think the spring is there to only keep it up in the sleeve as far as possible, and still allow for any required movement with the swing arm going up and down....
Not familiar with 1200 but generally no matter what the shaft cannot shorten enough to jump.

I would be looking at final drive or drive to driven hub problems.
I just looked at the on-line parts fiche... the final drive shaft, and u-joint are the regardless of year/model.

Is the final shaft coming apart at the u-joint (front) end? Or the back.

If the final shaft came out (at either end) as a rider, you'd have a surge of RPMs and hear lots of clunking/clanking.

two things cross my mind.

1st.. Is there structural damage on the swing-arm or near the swing-arm area. I don't think it's likely, the bike would be a death-trap. But if the swing arm (or part of it) is wobbling around the final shaft would pull away from the swing-arm.

2nd. There's something assembled incorrectly in the differential at the back of the bike. Makeing the swing-arm not project far enough forward.

Good luck.
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I went for a ride today, and it only did it once, but I felt it jump out and back in again. Has anyone ever had this problem before, it has me puzzled. :wtf:
Jumping out then back in sounds more like a transmission problem than a drive shaft problem.:?
The shaft is coming out at the front/u-joint side. Most of the time it happens so quickly that it feels like it jumped into neutral, then back into gear and yes the rpm's jump up and let off the throttle and it slides back in. It always happens in 5th gear while i'm doing over 50mph and usually under light throttle load. Ken, I thought for a while it was tranny related until the drive shaft came out, not once but twice so that's why I thought it had to do with the springs on the drive shaft. I replaced them and it's still doing it, although not as often, so it has to be something else. No visible damage to the swing arm but a friend of mine has suggested that it might be the swing arm bearings. I just figured that if I had bad swing arm bearings that it would have handling problems, which it doesn't but I'm still planning on check them.
I really think, that if the shaft came out of the u-joint.. the odds of it re-aligning an going back together are so slim...

I wonder if the clutch is slipping, then catching again. You could try cleaning the clutch slave-cylinder, and re-bleeding the clutch.

The clutch slave cylinder pushes a pin, that actuates the clutch. I'm boping that the slave cylinder is gunked up, and not allowing that pin from moving back far enough, thus allowing the clutch to slip.

I know it's a pain to remove, but the clutch slave cylinder can be removed without engine removal. And there's no gasket or anything, it doesn't open up into the engine itself, so it's safe to do so. Once removed, clean it up, paying particular attention to making sure the piston has full range of travel. There is nothing holding the piston in, just the friction of the seal. Put it back together, and rebleed.

Good luck.
Check your frame for rust on the right side between the swingarm pivot and the rear motor mount. They rust bad there, but seems like you would have noticed that.

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